Tuesday

Year later, Wilma's destruction still visible

You can still see it in the plywood covering the windows that used to show off an ocean view.

In the shiny new fences all over South Florida's eastern neighborhoods.

In the blue tarps that still -- still -- cover some rooftops.

In the naked swales where shade trees used to be.

Wilma was here.

One year ago today, a storm that at one point was the most intense ever recorded in the Atlantic basin roared ashore south of Naples as a Category 3 hurricane. It struck Broward and Miami-Dade counties as a Category 2 storm, although its ferocity varied from place to place.

Shingles and roof tiles flew. Trees toppled. Forty people died in Florida, most in the days after the storm (three died preparing for it). Nearly 6 million people lost electricity in the most widespread power outage in Florida history -- some for more than three weeks.

The storm caused $14.4 billion in damage statewide, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency. Broward County estimated its total damage at $1.2 billion. Miami-Dade put its figure at $2 billion.
Continued... The Miami Herald

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