Hurricane Frances, The Hurricane The Would Not Give Up!
This is my Hurricane Frances photography and video blog from Ft. Pierce, Florida and Northern Hutchinson Island Florida during the two days of Hurricane Frances.
For Hurricane Frances, I shot a lot of footage over the two days it took for the hurricane to come on shore. Our group started out the day in Fort Pierce, FL and after reviewing the latest weather data, we knew it was the place to be so that we could be in the northern eye wall.
Along with us for this chase we also had a film crew from Germany who wanted to document a Hurricane. They got more then they were expecting…
Here is a satellite and radar image of our location. For Hurricane Frances we positioned ourselves in Fort Pierce Florida, where the worst of the storm would make landfall. We managed to get over to the barrier island and Fort Pierce Beach to wait for the storm to hit us.
Images from the huge crowd at the Orlando, FL International Airport trying to leave before the storm. As soon as I got off the plane in Orlando, FL on Thursday, I hit the ground running . The Orlando Airport was jam packed with people trying to get out of Florida and out of the path of Hurricane Frances.
The roads were packed with almost 3 million people trying to flee Hurricane Frances.
Also going into the area was the DOWs crew to position their mobile radar into the eye of the storm.
As I got ready the day before the storm chase on the drive up on the
Florida Turnpike to Fort Pierce, I was able to take some cool
photographs between the outer rain bands.
Here is me the night before when I did a TV Interview and I looked like
hell since I was already up for almost 24 hours. I think I scared some
of the locals who were watching but I just told the truth and said we
were there to chase a hurricane that will be doing damage and
After the TV Interview with 12/29 WPEC all of the chasers at the hotel got together for a quick group photograph.
In Fort Pierce and the worst of Hurricane Frances is now coming towards us in the coming hours.
This boater swims out to his dingy to secure it to the back of his boat.
I think he was going to ride out the storm in his boat and I was not
the only one that was watching him prepare to die…
Now it is play time. I setup my camera to take photos of myself on a timer. The wind was blowing and the storm was kicking my butt. It got to the point I had to put on the head gear due to the flying debris.
While on Hutchinson Island, we documented the mobile home park before
the worst of the storm hit during the night. We spent a lot of time
around this area and shot a lot of the footage that ended up being used
in the National Geographic Hurricane Documentary about hurricane
Hurricane Chaser Chris Collura watches the storm one minute then watches debris fly past him the next…
The waters were wicked and the surge was coming in on the island near the base of the bridge.
The Hurricane Flags Were Flying On Hutchinson Island.
After The Storm, the damage from Hurricane Frances was everywhere. My base camp hotel was well inland in the town of Okeechobee Florida. Here is a collection of storm damage photographs from Okeechobee Florida.
The Hurricane Sign above that is bent over is a sign of how the whole part of central Florida looks. The Insurance Sign is classic. The Stop sign below and the Hurricane sign, all three of these photographs pretty much describe the state of Central Florida. Beaten, Trashed, and Under Water…
Parking lots all over the town of Okeechobee where I stayed the next two days were flooded.
Damage was everywhere
Crews were coming to the town and soon life was starting to get back to normal. Somewhat normal, where normal was now redefined as people not ready to kill each other with bad driving and bad tempers…
Even as the clean up was just getting started, the severe weather was back. Wall Clouds were forming over the town of Okeechobee Florida. Trees down, and even the fire stations radio tower down, the town was getting kicked when it was down.
More damage in and around Okeechobee Florida.
With the clean up underway, some people were out looking for business
while others were under contract and getting tons of work…
As soon as the power came back, the long lines at the gas station started.
Chris and I had to go back to Fort Pierce Florida to check out the damage and to look for Jason’s truck which broke down in the middle of the storm and he had to leave it on Hutchinson Island.
The Pier where we first started out in Fort Pierce, FL was now gone, not damaged, but gone…
The place under the bridge where we took refuge before the second half of the eye wall hit turned into a war zone. Debris was all over the place where we took shelter before the winds shifted.
And Last But Not Least…
It seems like every time I went to Florida in August and September of 2004, the toll roads were free…