Ominous clouds over the Jupiter Inlet in the days before Hurricane Irma portend the storm’s fury.
Past storms left Treasure Coast wellprepared
to battle Irma’s wind and rain
BY SUSAN BURGESS
Compared to the damage wrought by hurricanes
Frances and Jeanne in 2004, Treasure Coast residents
fared much better with monster storm Hurricane
Irma, whose winds terrorized everyone in its predicted
path before making it to South Florida.
Frances and Jeanne landed on Treasure Coast shores while
Irma landed on the gulf side of the state.
The Fort Pierce Marina, where in 2004 boats were smashed
into splinters, docks were torn out and it took about a dozen
years to recover, sailed through in fine shape, manager Dean
Kubitschek said. “No boats or docks were down, although
two boats had to be pumped.”
Manmade islands designed and installed after Frances and
Jeanne did their job and protected the waterfront, he said.
The new fishing dock wasn’t damaged but the seawall by the
dock was breached.
The city marina in Vero Beach did better than it had in
previous hurricanes, said Joe Flescher, chairman of the Indian
River County Commission
The record-breaking storm’s path wobbled for days. But
as people watched and prayed, horrified by the flattening of
Barbuda with almost unimaginable 185 mph winds, followed
by devastation of the Virgin Islands and the northern part of
Cuba, the path began to change.
Though it first threatened to pulverize the east coast of
Florida, it gradually crept toward the gulf side before making
landfall on Sept. 11 at Cudjoe Key near Key West with
screaming 140 mph winds that tore up or demolished buildings
in their path.
After making a furious double landfall in Florida, first in
the keys as a Category 4 hurricane and then near Naples on
Marco Island as a Category 3 with 130 mph winds, it swung >>