Keith Locke Hurricane Frances Page

Keith Locke
Hurricane Frances
Saint Petersburg, Florida

Saturday, September 4
Monday Morning Update, September 4
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Saturday...Before the Storm Hits

It's Saturday morning, and Hurricane Frances is approaching. This has been described many times on the news this way, "Imagine a storm the size of Texas." As you can see from the satellite photo, it's pretty big. I'll try to get some local pictures up after the storm. Meanwhile, if you are wondering about me, check back later. We are expecting tropical-storm-force winds, which can throw small debris into windows, bring down trees and powerlines, and litter the ground afterwards with branches.

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Monday...Immediate Aftermath

As expected, Hurricane Frances was only a tropical storm by the time it reached Saint Petersburg. On the east side of the bay, Frances was still a Category 1 hurricane on the Saffir Simpson scale. The feeder bands and gusty winds moved into St. Pete in the early morning. We had a large tree branch fall on the electrical line drop about 11:00 A.M., which I removed. Two more small branches fell on the line, and were removed, About 3:30 P.M. a transformer went out, along with the electricity. In the evening sometime the telephone went out, too. Power and telephone remain out at home.

A bit of trivia. Rumor has it that long ago an Indian lady placed a charm on Saint Petersburg that the city would never have a hurricane strike. For whatever reason, Frances became a tropical storm before passing through St. Pete... and is turning back into a Cat. 1 in the Gulf of Mexico.

Clients will be thrilled to know that the office is in fine shape. The electricity is on, and the telephone works. I managed to get a few pictures yesterday, and we'll be getting more today. Meanwhile, this is a place for friends and clients to know we're okay.

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Pictures Begin Here

Okay, here are a few pictures. At the end of this page will be a link to other pages. Descriptions will be below each photo.

This is a photo of my office after the storm. As you can see, there was no damage. The large tree in front lost a lot of twigs and leaves.

This is the marina adjacent to the Saint Petersburg Pier. You can see some small debris from the palm trees in the parking lot. Notice how close the water level is to the parking lot. This photo was taken on Labor Day about 3 hours after high tide.

Sometimes it's hard for people who haven't been here to realize just how many boats there are around the St. Pete area. There are a lot of boats here!

Moving on down the Saint Petersburg Pier a little, you can see the parking lot. Look off to the right. That first body of water is the parking lot! You can also see the great quantity of palm fronds down on the ground. They will have to be cleaned up, but think of all the trimming that won't have to be done. Every storm cloud has a silver lining.

Also on the Pier, some of the nice sun shelters have lost their canvas. We hope they haven't been turned into gill nets! Hurricanes take a lot of debris out into the water in addition to the visible damage they do on land.

Here is the first of two photos of waves breaking on the pier. You can see the size of the waves. Remember that this is in Tampa Bay, not the Gulf. Also, this is after Frances left us behind. The wind is from one of the last of the feeder bands, and isn't really very strong at this point. (Otherwise, we surely wouldn't have driven out on the pier.)

In this one, which is very blurry from the rain, you can see the waves breaking through a railing in the pier wall. The waves were splashing up on the sidewalk, but the water was not reaching the road surface.

Here you can see the top of the seawall has appeared as the water has receded a bit from the high tide. This is a small bayou between the Vinoy Hotel and the Saint Petersburg Pier. In 1999 I took a sailing course (while I still lived in Texas) and we spent one night anchored in this bayou. I remember having to climb up the barnacles to get to the seawall. What a difference!

Coffee Pot Bayou, along the scenic Coffee Pot Blvd. It never looks this full during normal weather. We didn't drive any further because some of that water is salt water... which isn't kind to brakes and wheels.

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