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Port Charlotte, Florida, Update

This from my niece in Port Charlotte, Florida.

Recent update to what it looks like in our "war-torn" county

Our "Charley's Angels" from the electical companies from all over the U.S. have done what seemed to be impossible - Rebuilt our infastructure in 14 days. Imagine most of the poles and lines within the county were gone - I do mean snapped power poles and lines over houses, in the streets, or MIA. All of the county now has electricity. Only those home/businesses too damaged or completely destroyed are without power - These are unable to be connected until rebuilt or certified by a contractor as safe for power. Those of us living in the county can only say THANK YOU as they head home as we have no other way (no hotels and just a few resturants now beginning to reopen).

All of our streets are now clear of debris with over 5,000 cubic tons of yard waste alone being collected on a daily basis. The pile behine the stadium and by the fair grounds grows daily to resemble a Mount Trashmore many times over. Lots of companies now are collecting the metal for removal and recycling (last we heard this has depressed the resale value of the metal but those arriving are paying the residents for the aluminum and other recycable products).

Now a very hard part of the rebuild begins with the bulldozers arriving. Most of the 31 trailer parks are fully condemned and will be bulldozed beginning next week to make room for temporary FEMA trailers and those beginning to rebuild within the parks. Also, starting to look to the housing areas on how to put the trailers on the residents property for housing until homes are repaired or rebuilt.

Primary elections will be held on 31 August - Just to set the reality a bit we have 80 precints in our county and unable to locate 80 intact buildings to have the elections - So down to 22 polling places with some sites having up to 9 precints in one polling location. WE WILL DO THIS!!

Our schools reopen on Monday and we ask all to pray for this and hold their breath. We lost 7 schools so all are now having to have split shifts. Some will start at 0630 in the am and the afternoon groups in some areas will not be out of school until 6 or 7 p.m.

One of the hospitals in now fully functional with 2 OR, ER, about 100 beds, Radiology and some other areas opening. One has ER in the DMAT tents in their parking lot and the third has an ER in a small building across the street.

All of the fire/rescue is fully functional (all of the buildings sustained damage) and 911 is fully functional - The first week after the storm they responded to over 5,000 calls.

Death toll for Charley is still at 4 in our county. Still had to believe that one, especially when you see more and more of the area opening up and see even more of the destruction that Charley caused.

We are rebuilding in Charlotte County, our motto:

"Hey Charlie our Cat 5 rebuild will BEAT your Cat 4 storm"

PLEASE, for anyone you see that helped us in this county say THANKS from all of us. About 7,000 electical workers are now heading home so give them room when you see their convoys. THey have been working 12-16 hour days in 90 degree heat. WE LOVE THEM ALL.

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Re: Port Charlotte, Florida, Update

In reply to: Port Charlotte, Florida, Update

its amazing what the USA can do when we want to do it

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Re: Port Charlotte, Florida, Update

In reply to: Port Charlotte, Florida, Update

Hi Del,

Glad things are shaping up there. Heckuva storm. I see in our local paper daily many letters from Floridians thanking the Pike Electric crews for all the work they've done and are doing there. Warms the heart to know our guys are helping and how thankful the people truly are for the help.

--Cindi
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