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Florida update..........

Here is an e-mail received Saturday, 21 Aug, from Port Charlotte
which is across the street from Punta Gorda, where "Charlie" did
so much damage.

Isn't it amazing how the news media has essentially forgotten
about this disaster ?

I think most of you know that those of my family escaped untouched,
house or people, but this e-mail will give a good update for the area.
Don't know if Bob told you in the e-mail but we use satellite internet - What a real blessing - Once electrical was up the internet and e-mail was up and running - Our cable system Comcast is still down and phones (hardline) are iffy at best - Cellular is still a mess as lost all of the towers, well one still up but no dishes left on that one. Nextel and Cingular have two towers here but just arrived yesterday and not saying when they will be installed.

Still digging out down here but slowly happening. The amount of help we are getting is unbelievable. 50% of the county is now live on electical and they are looking for all up by the 29th of August - We have 10,000 electical people on the ground just in our county right now. Policy, fire, rescue helping from all over Florida. Cats, digging machines, dump trucks, flat beds any kind of big truck equipment you can think of from everywhere. We can never say thank you to everyone!! The worst of it is we don't even have any motels or resturants left - Outback is working outside our EOC 24/7 to feed people and as some resturants come on line they feed them free. Still under curfew dusk to dawn for the time being.

We take any help anyone will give but these "rubber neckers" can go to H__L! THey do nothing but tie everything up as they travel 5-10 miles an hour taking pictures or videos of the destruction. I thought I knew from the "Andrew" pictures but I didn't - The devestation can not be descibed and pictures can not show the mess. However, as we are saying "Charley won the battle but Charlotte County will damn well win this war!" We are slowly coming back and many still count the blessings of being alive.

The death toll for our county still stands at 4 which is amazing as it can get - 2 of those were residents who refused to leave their mobile home but sadly lost everything including their lives - Some of the worst hit were the mobile home parks and many of these are our seniors. We continue to work but at times does not seem possible that it will ever be live as usual. Know it will but a really long road ahead. STill the electrical is the big one

FEMA is WONDERFUL!! They have been amazing to date and the residents are getting checks and assistance to date over 5 million in less than a week - Sure does not seem like it has only been a week and then at times seems like forever ago.

Well enough rattling on - Will update again later

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