Hurricane Charley comes to Celebration

Friday the 13th of August, 2004, Charley came to town. He didn't stay long, came and went very quickly and we were very lucky to come out of this one with little damage.  Our town of Celebration is just outside of Disney World and located on the map in the first picture about where the "i" in Kissimmee is in the middle of the map. Charley arrived at our front door around 8:58 pm with 90 mph winds and gusts to 105. We were just west of the eye of the storm about 8 miles, so the majority of our damage was from the east (a hurricane rotates counterclockwise).

I started the day by mowing the grass as the day was very very calm. We got no rain until the first band of the storm arrived at 2:05 pm. Then another band arrived around 6pm and then it was generally quiet except the rain until the storm arrived. The really strange thing of the night, was our Satellite TV never lost a picture and we normally loss a picture every time it rains. And we never lost electricity or phones either.  We watched the local covered on local channels 6 & 9. Channel 9 was providing continuous coverage with maps that allowed us to track the storm and tell when it was pretty much over for us (about 9:10 pm).

During the final minutes of the storm, we put Heather and Oreo in the hall on a beanbag and placed the couch across the entrance. Heather had cookies to keep her busy and she generally ignored what was going on. Every once in a while she would ask "what was that" and we would generally tell her it was the wind. At times it got pretty loud and you could hear a freight train type sound when it got really intense but the storm was traveling at 28 mph when it arrived, so it was gone soon.

Once the winds let down, we went outside and checked our home and neighbors. One house on our street had a broken window, but otherwise no one had any home damage. The street is another story. Our street only has homes on one side, across the street is a wooded area. The storm direction came directly through the woods and many trees came down into the street. We had a large Oak across from us and the top of that tree is now in the street in front of our house.

About 8am, Naomi and I got out and started cleaning. I got up on the roof with the blower and cleaned the roof and gutters, then racked the yard, removed all the debris and Naomi concentrated on cleaning the porch and sidewalks.

She did our sidewalk and both our neighbors. If the cord had been longer she would have done the whole street. She loves the blower. I guess I am lucky it is electric, if she had a gas model, she might still be out there :)

After I was done with our yard, Heather and I picked up all the large debris for the 3 homes on both sides of our home, I also used the blower and cleaned both our neighbors porches. We have many absentee neighbors and just thought it was the neighborly thing to help get the mess cleaned up for those that weren't around.  As of 5pm Saturday, our road is still impassable. The pictures below include the path of the storm through the local area and pictures taken at night and during the clean up. You will have to click on the dark pictures to see any details.

Last, we didn't watch any TV today until about 6pm, so we were unaware of the damage the storm did throughout Florida. Makes our few little trees seem so unimportant. I know during the worst of the storm we sat in the hall and held hands. I am sure we were all saying a silent prayer. That prayer was answered for us, the storm passed us on the correct side, had it gone 10 miles further west the damage would have been much greater. We wish the best to those families who weren't so fortunate, our prayers will be with you.

Home Aftermath & Cleanup


Our home is at the "i" in Kissimmee


First picture

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Large branch

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next door

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Next door's Pond :)

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First picture of the morning after

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Looking south down the street


Looking north down the street


front yard :(



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next door


street pictures


no one is driving on our street soon


next street over. What storm?




Back alley was pretty clean

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Very lucky people, there is no damage to this house!

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2 doors down the street

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test cars are stuck here forever:)

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So much to do and Mitch is playing in the woods

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So much to clean, where do you start?


downed trees at pond @ south end of street


broken tree


huge oak uprooted


fell south, home across the street


wouldn't have survived if this


hit them, lucky :)

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more downed trees

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Yuck so much cleaning.


View from our front door...


...stairs, walk way, sidewalk and street, are all there somewhere.

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after it was raked and swept


more cleaning

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butt shot :)

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Naomi loves her blower :)

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Big branch, little tree saved us :)

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Was completely leaf free, but then it rain  :(  5 hours of cleaning, it really didn't need to rain



Cleaner :)

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Cleaned the whole street :)

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Hurricane damage? Not sure.

Home Aftermath & Cleanup