Charley among nation’s costliest

Wednesday marked the 10th anniversary of one of the costliest hurricanes to ever strike the United States.

Hurricane Charley made landfall near Cayo Costa in southwest Florida on Aug. 13, 2004 as a Category 4 Hurricane with winds of 150 miles an hour. It remains the strongest storm to make landfall in the state of Florida since 1992.

Charley made three landfalls in the U.S.: In the Dry Tortugas, Cayo Costa and near Myrtle Beach, S.C. causing 15.1 billion dollars in damage, making it the eighth costliest hurricane to ever strike the country. The second of those landfalls devastated parts of Charlotte County, most notably Punta Gorda which sustained the worst of the damage caused by the system.

But what made Charley worse was the impacts weren’t limited to the area in and around Charlotte Harbor where the storm made landfall.

“The thing about Charley was the forward speed of motion was upwards of 20 miles coupled with the fact it had a very small radius of winds but concentrated in that area around the eyewall was very significant damage right up all the way from Punta Gorda up through Orlando and up through near Daytona Beach,” said Tony Cristaldi, senior forecaster with the National Weather Service in Melbourne.

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