The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on September 15, 1999 · Page 8
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September 15, 1999

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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 8

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West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 15, 1999
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Page 8
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8A THE PALM BEACH POST WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 S c ; FISVD yVPWli.1. j , PWM I IIIU ..I IIL.IIIIII I .iqMUamilWMMH.MbMUHiHI muiJMIIHll IMMWMIIWW.IM I. I mi .IUIB .11111 j r . Is I . j i yt v J I - I I ? ' J ;i : ' 'f ! l. y : ' - f - i ?.. I - - j - ; - . y 5 r"f. - J I r-- r fi t p ,f j 1 1 jrJ'' ' ' ' I -f1 - - t "- . '; ' - ; - x -: ,mirY-r-'M-- - -- --w. - , . PAUL J. MILETTEStaff Photographer Bob Young of Whispering Palms Mobile Home Park in Sebastian loaded his belongings into a U-Haul on Tuesday before leaving his home of 30 years. each towns deserted, shuttered t PC ; Vt " j i 1. . ' I, ' I Boca woman helps kids connect to higher power Lina Campano figured prayer was the best remedy to ease 8-year-old Ramon Juarez's fears about Hurricane Floyd. So the 60-year-old Boca Raton resident, who was at the Red Cross shelter at Omni Middle School on Tuesday, made him a rosary of green plastic beads. "I always pray anyway, but now it's special," Campano said late Tuesday morning, as Floyd became more evident in the growing gusts of wind outside. "I want all the kids to pray. The children, they keep me busy here." Campano, an 11-year Florida resident who was out of town when Hurricane Andrew hit seven years ago, made rosaries for eight children by noon. Storm wasn't the only false alarm Things got a little exciting at the Bear Lakes Middle School shelter about 1 p.m. when one evacuee who happened to be nine months' pregnant reported she was nauseated, short of breath and feeling anxious. Nurse Mary Bennett, who had her hands full with some cancer and heart patients, sent Elizabeth Camacho to St Mary's Medical Center, but the hospital sent her home later in the day. Evacuees a diverse lot PALM BEACH GARDENS Eli Binner, 71, who lives in Old Port Cove in North Palm Beach, was visiting family in Turkey just a week before the deadly earthquake hit there Aug. 17. He lives in a mandatory evacuation area and came to the William T. Dwyer High School shelter early Monday night. "I escaped one disaster just in time," Binner said. "Now here I am in another." Sisters Margaret Cardello, 91, and Rose Venezzia, 97, also were forced from their home. They live together in a Palm Beach Gardens mobile home. Floyd is the first hurricane that has forced them out. "I don't know what to think," Cardello said. "We're worried about our home, but they say this is the best place for us to be." Four paramedics, two Palm Beach Gardens police officers and two school board police officers spent the night at Dwyer. Those sand traps can sting PALM BEACH Some adventure-seekers were more cavalier than others. Kevin Clark, clad in Bermuda shorts and sockless loafers, was chewing a cigar as he and Christopher Ward played golf Tuesday morning at the Palm Beach Municipal Golf Course. By 11:30 a.m., the two men were on their sixth hole at the par-three golf course. This is our third storm," said Clark, a Boyn-ton Beach resident who was down two strokes. "When you hit it into the wind, it's pretty dramatic." They invited two police officers to join them for the round. The officers declined and sent them on their way home. This is a recording: Get out BOCA RATON Police used an automated phone-dialing system Tuesday to remind 5,300 residents of an evacuation order announced Monday evening. The phone system dubbed CityWatch allows the city to send a recorded message to any city phone, and took about six hours to make the calls, police spokeswoman Debra Shannon said. The system cost $41,000, including a $37,000 state grant, Shannon said. Publix stores take warning to heart Publix Super Markets unexpectedly closed all its stores in Palm Beach, Martin and St. Lucie counties Tuesday morning, disappointing angry customers trying to buy last-minute supplies. The Lakeland-based chain said Monday some of its stores would open before 7 a.m. Tuesday, but officials decided to close when the National Hurricane Center in Miami-Dade County issued a hurricane warning. "We apologize for any inconvenience, but everybody should be home," spokeswoman Carmen Millares said. Jose Rodriguez of West Palm Beach was one of dozens of customers who showed up early Tuesday at the Publix in the Southdale Shopping Center on Southern Boulevard, only to find the doors locked. "It would have been nice for the last-minute items you realize you need, like bleach to clean the tub," Rodriguez said. Second eye wall forms, collapses Hurricane Floyd briefly went through an unusual phenomenon Tuesday afternoon when it began to develop a second eye wall, a forecaster said. Storms sometimes develop a second wall as they reorganize, and that happened with Floyd for a few hours Tuesday afternoon, National Hurricane Center meteorologist Jeremy Pennington said. He said the event often signals a storm is strengthening. The inner wall eventually collapses, resulting in a larger eye. But the second wall never finished forming and it eventually dissipated back into the inner eye, Pennington said. New shutters give Abacoans fits JUPITER As Hurricane Floyd approached South Florida, Abacoa homeowners fetched their new aluminum panels from the garage then learned that some didn't fit The building code requires that all new homes have storm protection for the windows, and each house in Abacoa came with a full set of aluminum storm panels. But apparently some of the panels in the neo-traditional neighborhood along Donald Ross Road in Jupiter were miscut. "DiVosta (Homes) did the initial set and some guy miscut all of them," said one Abacoa resident who asked not to be named. "There was a big panic (Monday)." Fortunately, one Abacoa resident, a general contractor, brought out his power saw Monday night and recut his neighbors' shutters to fit. a Staff writers George Bennett, Noah Bierman, Alexandra Navarro Clifton, Shannon Colavecchio, Brian Crecente, Mary Ellen Flannery, Clay Lambert, Matt Mossman, Paul Owers, and Sue Schultz of Palm Beach Post-Cox News Service contributed to this story. Weber joked as she and her husband made final preparations to leave, too. Palm Beach was like Disney World at closing time by the end of the day. A few employees were fixing things up and a handful of stubborn stragglers refused to leave. But the manicured lawns and the fairy-tale streets were strangely empty. Even The Breakers sat vacant. This is so eerie for us. We're so used to fighting traffic," said Assistant Police Chief Mike Reiter. "There's nobody. Nobody." The owners of one beachfront house had boarded up windows and spray-painted slogans on them, including the message "Stand and Deliver" accompanied by a bulls-eye. And while people elsewhere struggled to locate drinking water of any kind anywhere, a delivery truck was dropping off jugs of water at homes in Palm Beach. Meanwhile, in older, less affluent neighborhoods along U.S. 1 north of West Palm Beach, storm awnings were locked down and plywood sheets covered the windows and doors of at least half the homes. Most businesses along Broadway and in the Northwood section were fitted with plywood or metal shutters. Even the Hurricane Grille on 25th Street was closed. At Al Shirt Laundry on U.S. 1, the store front showed a spray-painted message for Floyd: GO AWAY. The main highway through Okeechobee looked like a parking lot Tuesday as motorists fleeing Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast merged on the east side of the city on the northern edge of Lake Okeechobee. "They're going to make it through, but it's going to take some time," police dispatcher Kelly Lancaster said. "They waited until the last minute to leave and now they're going to have to be patient We're a small town and we're doing the best we can." Patrons of Coach's Manatee Bar and Restaurant at the Riviera Beach Marina were planning a hurricane FLOYD From 1A shelters and some were turned away. Shelters prepared to close at 8 a.m. today, when PalmTran and SpecTran buses will be available to take people home. At Tuesday's peak, almost 5,300 people were in the 11 Red Cross shelters in Palm Beach County, said Assistant County Administrator Vince Bonvento. By 10 p.m., only 1,300 remained, he said. Statewide, 152 shelters were still open Tuesday night, as well as 27 special-needs shelters, totaling 24,000 people. Schools and public facilities in Broward and Miami-Dade counties will return to a normal schedule today, but Palm Beach County schools, county services and public transportation will remain closed, along with state and federal courts. The Palm Beach County Sheriffs Office ordered special units to don uniforms and patrol deserted streets Tuesday, doubling the number of on-duty deputies to about 500, Sheriff Bob Neumann said. Police departments throughout the county put extra officers on the streets. Delray Beach tripled its patrols Tuesday night, going from nine officers to 35. Today, 25 will be on duty, and firefighters and paramedics are on 36-hour shifts. The regular shift is 24 hours. Beachside towns had a vacant and odd look Tuesday after most residents obeyed a mandatory evacuation order issued Monday. Manalapan police set up roadblocks on State Road A1A at the north and south limits of the town noted for its wealthy inhabitants. All but about five of the roughly 315 residents had evacuated the town, Safety Director Robert McAllister said. Amid the rows of mobile homes at Briny Breezes, the only sign of life was Rhea Weber trimming a flowering bush with her clippers. "No other fools have stayed," BOB SHANLEYStaff Photographer One of the effects of the hurricane's passage was sudden rain, which caught ' this woman Tuesday at Delray Beach's municipal beach. hurricane with 125 mph winds by late , Tuesday and on a track that could ; threaten Florida in a few days, depending on what Floyd's passage does to weather systems in the area. ; -The county's Emergency Operations Center, which had been operating around the clock for several days, stayed open through Tuesday night but sent some of its staff home to rest, Bonvento said. "We have to be prepared, if necessary, to activate next week for Gert" he said. B Staff writers Noah Bierman, Joe Brogan, Brian Crecente, Shirish Date, Bill Douthat, Jeff Houck, Robert P. King, Eliot Kleinberg, Pat Moore, Matt Moss man, Susan Spencer-Wendel and Julie Waresh contributed to this story, along with the Associated Press. ' : party, although many of the marina's live-aboard boat owners had taken their craft inland to Okeechobee. One of the stay-behinds was Clark Motter, who said he put double dock lines on his 32-foot boat, Wandering Star. The idea is to save me and my dog, Mizzen," Motter said. The boat can always be replaced." While Palm Beach County and the Treasure Coast averted catastrophe, the South Florida Water Management District remained on 24-hour alert as it watched Floyd's progress up the coast. Water managers also will continue operating their hot line (561) 682-6932 for residents to report flooding and other problems today. Water managers may go to a lower level of alert Thursday to prepare for Hurricane Gert, Overton said. Gert was already a powerful Category 3 Gert follows in Floyd's path as major hurricane-to-be As of 11 p.m. Tuesday T .t - inn i i..;, E ..1, 1 1 - CI Latitude: 17.3N Longitude: 47.3W Wind speed: 115 mph Direction: West at 16 mph West raim Beach Thursday ; Atlantic l Ocean I 8 p.m. i Gert m AFRICA na EDO Hurricane Gert is stronger now than Floyd was when it was in the same area. By Frank Cerabino Palm Beach Post Staff Writer By next weekend, Florida may be looking at another powerful hurricane following a similar path to Hurricane Floyd, according to forecasters at the National Hurricane Center. While Hurricane Floyd slid up the coast of Florida on Tuesday, a slightly smaller, but well-defined Hurricane Gert followed in its wake. "Gert will become a major hurricane during the next few days," said National Hurricane Center meteorologist Todd Kimberlain. "It's not quite as big as Floyd, but it's still a maturing hurricane." Whether Gert follows Floyd's track to the east coast of Florida, or takes a more northerly course in the open ocean, will depend on the lin- As with Hurricane Floyd, much will depend on timing. Because of Floyd's influence on ' weakening that ridge, forecasters on ' Tuesday adjusted the predicted path of Gert slightly more northward from it's previous west, northwesterly trek. Gert's well-defined eye was spinning winds at 115 mph Tuesday night, ' and some strengthening was anticipated by today. Hurricane force winds extended 35 miles from the center, and tropical winds out to 140 miles. "When Floyd was out in this area, it was a tropical depression," Kimberlain said. The fact that Gert is already ' a hurricane means it will be more af-' fected by steering winds." Due to the uncertain atmospheric , aftermath of Floyd, the National Weather Service on Tuesday was being cautious in predicting a long-term forecast for Gert. These forecasts need to be taken , with a grain of salt at this time," a weather service advisory said. iK . 8 p.m. .' ; today &" r i....... i.... LTD CHI , CD EDO SOUTH AMERICA da Eio LB Latest updates, tracking maps and free e-mail advisories: www.storm99.com gering influence Floyd will have on a subtropical high pressure ridge in the area, forecasters say. If Floyd's path leaves a weakness in the ridge, Gert should turn more northward, and be less of a danger, forecasters say. But if the ridge remains, Gert , would continue on a more westerly track and become more of a threat to Florida. "Some of our models indicate the ridge will remain intact," Kimberlain said. "But if Floyd causes a weakness in the ridge, then Gert could turn north." y

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