August 13th marks the ten year anniversary of Hurricane Charley hitting Southwest Florida. The storms trajectory had initially led forecasters to predict landfall near the Tampa area, but residents were caught off guard as the Category 4 storm made landfall on Captiva Island and headed toward Charlotte County. Damage from Charley resulted in more than $13 billion dollars in damage.
We’ll explore how Hurricane Charley impacted Charlotte County and what emergency planners and utility providers learned from the storm. We’ll also take a look at both the negative and positive environmental impacts of powerful hurricanes on Southwest Florida. If you experienced Hurricane Charley here in Southwest Florida 10 years ago, what are your remembrances of riding out the storm? How did the experience impact how you prepare for hurricane season?