Party time as Erin hits Florida coast
Wednesday 02 August 1995
The eye of the hurricane passed along Grand Bahama island, missing Nassau but stranding thousands of British and other tourists as flights were cancelled.
As the hurricane's eye appeared to target an area between Vero Beach and Palm Beach on the Florida coast, wealthy residents who had expected Erin to hit further south frantically began boarding up their homes or moving inland.
Earlier, the hurricane, the first to hit eastern Florida since Hurricane Andrew killed 35 people and left 250,000 homeless three years ago this month, had appeared headed for Miami and the Keys, but it then changed tack.
The first strong winds whipped the Boca Raton area around 4pm yesterday afternoon but Erin was expected to hit with full force in the early hours of today, and authorities warned it could be followed by tornados. Local officials ordered coastal areas evacuated from Miami Beach in the south to Smyrna beach in the north, but a majority of residents opted to batten down the hatches and stay home.
Although some people continued to venture out, including surfers, and wave-jumping jet skiers revelling in the conditions, there was an eerie atmosphere as birds, among them the renowned flamingos, disappeared inland, sensing the incoming storm.
"We're having a hurricane party," said Rob McFate, a 29-year-old New Yorker who heeded an official call to evacuate low-lying Key West and moved to the Florida mainland at Pembroke Pines. "We got vodka, white wine, red wine, chasers, extra CDs."
Many tourists ordered out of the Keys on Monday, however, may face further bad luck today and possibly tomorrow as Erin's northerly twist threatened to close Disneyworld at Orlando.
Despite the lingering trauma from Andrew, there was no sign of panic as Erin headed for Florida at speeds of 85 miles per hour and upwards. That made it only a Category One hurricane on a scale of five - Andrew was graded four - but meteorologists said it might become a Category Two with winds of up to 130 mph.
Most worrying was the amount of rain the first hurricane of the 1995 season was carrying as it spun west-north-west towards the coast. Andrew dumped four inches of rain in a few hours. Erin looked likely to unload up to 10 inches over a longer period.
peopleContenders for Time magazine's Person of the Year are a mixture of the good, the bad and the holy
newsAs the world remembers Mandela the hero, the prison where he spent 27 years seems all the more brutal
tvSteven Moffat reveals the actor was dying to take on the role of the Time Lord and says he is excited to see what he will do with the character
sportBayern Munich 2 Manchester City 3: City come from two down to beat reigning European Champions
arts + ents... and a chance to paint Booker Prize winning author Hilary Mantel
danceUnder Tamara Rojo's inspired direction, it seems possible that it could challenge the dominance of the Royal Ballet. We meet some established names and rising stars
travelDiscover Uruguay's jet-set beach resort, an Atlantic enclave with plenty of art and culture to explore on the side
The ten coldest places on Earth
Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
Krokodil in Mexico? Teenager hospitalised after 'injecting drug into her genitals'
Nelson Mandela memorial: Cheers, jeers and a masterclass from Barack Obama that stole the show
- 1 It’s shameful that our universities have accepted gender segregation under pressure from the most oppressive religious fanatics
- 2 Sir Ian McKellen hits back at Damian Lewis' 'fruity actor' claims
- 3 Kenyan politician Mike Sonko left red-faced after photoshopping himself next to Nelson Mandela
- 4 Selfie at funeral: Cameron squeezes in on Obama snap at Mandela memorial
- 5 Is Facebook making us forget? Study shows that taking pictures ruin memories
- < Previous
- Next >
attractive: Citifocus: Highly prestigious Investment Management house based in...
£46,000 plus car and benefits: The Green Recruitment Company: The Green Recrui...
£50000 Per Annum dependent on experience: The Green Recruitment Company: The G...
£60k: Charter Selection: Prestigious ultra high end fit out and refurbishment ...