June 1st opened the 2005 Hurricane Season and already there is tropical activity. As of this entry, Tropical Storm Arlene is churning in the Gulf of Mexico and may develop into a minimal hurricane. The latest report I heard is that maximum sustained winds were at 70 miles per hour. When it reaches 75 miles per hour, it will then be upgraded to a Category 1 hurricane.
For 2005, the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico hurricanes will have the names Arlene, Bret, Cindy, Dennis, Emily, Franklin, Gert, Harvey, Irene, Jose, Katrina, Lee, Maria, Nate, Ophelia, Philippe, Rita, Stan, Tammy, Vince and Wilma.
Last year, Florida was pounded by four hurricanes resulting in every county in the state sustaining damages of various levels. In north Florida, Hurricane Ivan caused massive amounts of damage for the Alabama and Florida Gulf Coast.
With Tropical Storm Arlene in the Gulf of Mexico, a lot of people are reminded of Hurricane Ivan and the damage it caused.
This is a photo of the I-10 Causeway Bridge over Escambia Bay on the east side of Pensacola, Florida. I’ve driven over this bridge many times and normally the water is about twenty to thirty feet below the roadway but as you can clearly see, Hurricane Ivan’s forces caused the waters of Escambia Bay to actually rise over the concrete slabs and managed to rip several of the slabs off the mountings.
Towards the end of the hurricane, officials found that a truck driver (later identified as Roberto Molina Alvarado) had attempted to drive across the bridge only to run off the bridge due to the missing slabs. They found his body still in the cab of the truck in the water after the hurricane. Most likely the torrential rains reduced visibility to such an extent that he never saw the missing slabs. I also have to wonder if there were roadblocks at the beginning of the bridge that he either drove around or were missing due to the winds. We’ll probably never know for certain.
Here’s photographic evidence of the awesome power of waves created by Hurricane Ivan. This leads me to wonder why is it that whenever a hurricane churns up dangerous waves there are always a handful of mental deficients (i.e. – idiots, morons, imbeciles, insert your favorite appropriate expression) in the water trying to ride the waves on surfboards. I guess it cleans out the gene pool if they drown.
Another frightening aspect of hurricanes are the tornadoes they spawn. This picture if of a tornado that touched down in Panama City Beach, Florida during Hurricane Ivan. A television station, WJHG, which happens to be located not very far from where this picture was taken, captured images of the tornado from the vantage of their tower camera. The amazing video was available on their website for a long time afterwards.
This is Bayfront Parkway in Pensacola, Florida after Hurricane Ivan. The roadway washed away by the tidal surge. This is the same tidal surge that destroyed portions of the Escambia Bay I-10 Causeway bridge.
In Gulf Shores, Alabama, close to where the center of the storm came ashore, wind damage, tidal surge and flooding caused millions of dollars in damage.
This is one of many beachfront properties along the Alabama and Florida coastline destroyed by Hurricane Ivan. The area still has not fully recovered.
Pensacola Beach was hit very hard by the effects of Ivan. Parts of the roadway were completely washed out by the waters. Damage like this was typical all along the Alabama and Florida coastal areas. Repairs are still being made to this day. With Tropical Storm Arlene headed in the same general direction, local residents are definitely reminded of September, 2004.
Debris of all types were flung about by the winds and tidal surge from Hurricane Ivan. The hurricanes winds causing debris to become deadly missiles.
Pictures like these were taken all across Florida as a result of four major huricanes that struck Florida in 2004. Charley, Frances, Ivan and Jeanne were all terribly destructive storms that resulted in millions of dollars of damage and thousands of lives lost. With the 2005 hurricane season underway, we all must be dilligent in case hurricanes strike. Forecasters are predicting a higher-than-normal number of major storms this season and with so much damage still in evidence in Florida, it will be devastating if a major hurricane makes landfall in one of those areas.