Hurricane Charley: 'No' to Anna Maria Island
Hurricane Charley, a Category 4 storm with winds of 145 mph, made landfall at Cayo Costa late Friday afternoon in a sweep through Central Florida, causing billions of dollars of destruction.
As of noon Saturday, Aug. 14, 15 people were killed by the storm.
Anna Maria Island was spared from any significant damage from the storm. A mandatory evacuation was ordered for all of the barrier islands of Manatee County effective noon Thursday, Aug. 12, and residents and visitors - for the most part - heeded the warning and left without incident.
Re-entry was allowed at 7 p.m. Friday after the storm's eye passed through Central Florida in a path to the Atlantic Ocean and yet another landfall in North Carolina.
Effective at 12:01 a.m. Friday, Aug. 13, no entry to the Island was permitted by law enforcement officials.
"People heeded the warning and left," said Bradenton Beach Police Lt. John Cosby. "We were so lucky, I still can't fathom it."'
Cosby said that police in Bradenton Beach found only four people who refused to evacuate the city in the face of Hurricane Charley.
Manatee County officials turned off water service to the Island early Friday morning to maintain the integrity of the utility, but turned the water back on at about 7 p.m. that night.
"The only damage that we've found so far was to a file cabinet that was moved out of city hall," Cosby said of Bradenton Beach. "There was no beach erosion, and power service was not disrupted during the storm."
For further information, go to www.nhc.noaa.gov