As the month of October was beginning in 2004, the region was still reeling from the September 16 landfall of Hurricane Ivan. One of the most significant impacts of the extensive storm damage was the loss of electricity. In Northwest Florida, that means Gulf Power Company was at the center of restoration efforts.
Ultimately, the utility’s response to the storm went a long way toward helping the company improve its storm readiness today.
In 2004, the country was in the middle of the so-called housing bubble. Prices were rising all across the country. Here in northwest Florida, it was a bit more subdued.
Lynn Peters, the President of the Pensacola Association of Realtors says that the inventory of available houses in the Pensacola region was selling nicely in the months before Hurricane Ivan. As 2004 began there were over 21 hundred properties for sale in the market. By August, that was down to under 17 hundred.
In the next installment of our look back at Hurricane Ivan ten years ago, WUWF’s Dave Dunwoody reports on the Interstate-10 Bridge -- a major traffic artery that was severed and then built back even better.
The original four-lane bridge opened in 1968, consisting of twin spans of two lanes each with no shoulders. Connecting Escambia and Santa Rosa counties, it’s a vital link on an I-10 that reaches across the southern part of the United States from Jacksonville to Los Angeles.
In this week’s Economic Report, Dr. Rick Harper reviews where the region is ‘10 years on from Hurricane Ivan.’ The devastating storm struck the Florida-Alabama gulf coast, coming ashore at Gulf Shores, Alabama on September 16, 2004.
As part of WUWF’s look back at Hurricane Ivan on its 10th anniversary, it turns out the storm did lead the way towards replacing Pensacola’s water treatment plant, which had been in service since 1937.
Ivan’s 100-plus mile and hour winds and storm surges of up to 15 feet mortally wounded the Main Street Treatment plant. A power outage knocked it off line for three and a half days -- resulting in a toxic brew of storm water, storm surge and raw sewage flooding parts of downtown Pensacola.
Ten years ago, Hurricane Ivan brought widespread destruction to the region. In Northwest Florida, Escambia and Santa Rosa counties were closest to the eye and suffered the most damage. As part of WUWF’s 10th anniversary series, Danielle Freeman has this look at the storm’s impact on Okaloosa County.
President George W Bush made quite a few trips to Florida in 2004.
He was, after all, running for reelection. But on September 19, he joined Governor Bob Riley of Alabama and his brother, Governor Jeb Bush of Florida to see firsthand some of the damage done by Hurricane Ivan. There was a lot to see. The damage from Ivan totaled almost 19 billion dollars, making it the sixth most expensive storm un US history. And in the days immediately after the storm, how some of that money needed to be spent became apparent.
On the morning of September 16, 2004, Hurricane Ivan was no longer a local story. NPR led its newscasts that morning with updates about the storm damage and loss of life.
Earlier, at 1:50am...Hurricane Ivan made landfall at Gulf Shores, Alabama. By then it had already killed 67 people in the Caribbean including 39 in Grenada and 17 in Jamaica. Escambia county was hit by the eastern edge of the storm, the most dangerous part of any Atlantic hurricane.
In 2004, Hurricane Charlie hit the state of Florida at Fort Myers on August 13. Hurricane Francis struck the east coast near Stuart on September 5. That was the same day that Ivan went from a tropical storm to a hurricane. 18 hours later it was a category 4 storm and still strengthening.
As we get closer to hurricane season, the phones at REBUILD Northwest Florida are starting to get busier. For almost a decade the group has been helping people in our area get their homes ready to survive a hurricane. WUWF's Bob Barrett sat down with Garrett Walton, the CEO of REBUILD NWF to talk about the group's mission and how they got started.