Building Hurricane Survival
by Jennifer LeClaire
It's a hurricane season in the Caribbean region that will go down in the record books as one of the worst ever. And, as of this writing in early October 2004, it's far from over. With another six weeks left in an already devastating season, the design and construction industry is facing a daunting job of rebuilding.
First, Hurricane Charlie pounded the western coast of Florida, resulting in more than a dozen deaths, demolishing structures, leaving millions without power for weeks, and causing billions of dollars of damage.
Just weeks later, Frances was blamed for more than a dozen deaths in the storm-battered eastern coast of the "Sunshine State," leaving both sides of the peninsula ravaged with wind and flood damage totaling billions more.
Next, Hurricane Ivan introduced himself to the Gulf Coast of the United States, killing dozens across a four-state span. Then, Jeanne landed in the same spot on Florida's east coast as Frances, bringing double-destruction on small coastal towns in that area.
The Caribbean islands are also taking a beating. Hurricane Jeanne was the most devastating to date, and by latest estimates 3000 Haitians lost their lives due to the ferocious storm. Grenada and Grand Cayman were also pummeled this season. Jamaica, Barbados, St. Vincent, Turks and Caicos, and the Bahamas suffered spotted damage in both agricultural and tourist regions. >>>
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A building in Boynton Beach, Florida suffered substantial damage from Hurricane Frances in September 2004.
Photo: Mark Wolfe/FEMA
Satellite photo of Hurricane Ivan, a Category Four storm, shortly before it made landfall.
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