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July-August 2009

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Hurricane-Proof House: How One Man Rebuilt After Hurricane Charley

Adapted from the AMS Weather Book: The Ultimate Guide to America’s Weather.

A s Hurricane Charley’s winds began to roar through his canal-side neighborhood in Punta Gorda, Florida, on August 13, 2004, Jim Minardi took shelter in the home of his neighbors Don and Connie Farquharson. He says they “settled in with a really good bottle of California wine” and opened the shutters on the back door a couple of inches to watch the storm.

The storm sounded like a jet airliner’s engines running full blast, Minardi says. “It was a banshee scream. That was just awesome to me. I was jaw agape, listening. It got so loud I was almost deaf afterwards. The gusts came with a ‘wham.’ It was just like a truck...we wondered ‘what hit?’ It was just a gust.”

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