TopNotch FL President
I have been offline since we lost power on Friday, 13th (figures). Anyhow, Charley moved a lot sharper to the Northeast than was expected so we got hit far worse than anyone expected us to. A lot of people from the Tampa Bay area came more inland to evacuate their homes thinking they would be demolished by the storm but all they became was a nuisance because much of the space shelters and hotels had vacant was taken by them. A myriad of people in this area have suffered severe damage to their homes, cars, but especially morale. The first few days it was difficult to even buy gas without having to wait in monstrous lines. I have been told that the massive lines looked much like those from the gas shortage days in the 70's. Many gas stations were out of fuel so signs were posted telling people that they were completely out or a limit restriction of $10-15 was placed on the pumps. The few places that did have power such as local restaurants were overwhelmed by hungry, hot customers that had very short tempers and were not as easily pleased. Fortunately, electricity has been restored for the most part around my immediate location but many towns west and south of us are still without power and crews do no expect it to be on again for them for at LEAST another week. You never really know what you truly have and take for granted until it is restricted or worse- it is gone.