by Michael Edward

Date: Tuesday, 24 August 2004, 6:26 p.m.

World Vision Portal

According to the latest statistics, Hurricane Charley caused an estimated $7.4 BILLION damage... so far.

Today, the American Red Cross has estimated that 12,019 homes were destroyed. This does not include 19,095 homes that have major damage and are uninhabitable in their present state of repair. 32,755 homes have minor damage and can be lived in while repairs are made, and 20,218 have less major damage, such as missing shingles. At least 5,661 homes were still inaccessible as of their report and it was unknown what damage they may have.

How nice it is of the County Tax Collectors to "delay" tax assessments that were just mailed out or are about to be mailed. For some people, they will sooner or later be required to pay taxes on property that they no longer have. Governor Jeb Bush made it a point to let the victims of Charley know that they won't have to pay their property tax assessments... until later on.

With 12 Thousand homes already confirmed as destroyed, and perhaps another 8 thousand uninsured homes that are uninhabitable and will not be repaired, the developers are going to have a field day buying up the former 30 or so mobile home parks that have been wiped out in Charlotte County alone. In fact, real estate speculators are already posting signs in devastated areas stating "cash for your lot". Many people are taking their low-ball offers and selling out. Prior to Charley's arrival, prices for vacant lots were sky high, but not any longer.

Let's just take a common sense look at things for a moment. Here we have all these many thousands of destroyed homes, plus thousands of uninhabitable homes that are damaged so much that they are unsafe. Yet we're being told that there are only 25 deaths from Hurricane Charley... and about half of these were related to post-hurricane accidents and medical condition deaths.

Here we have 12,000 totally destroyed homes... flattened and demolished, and not distinguishable as anything other than a trash pile. There were no advanced mandatory evacuations for inland areas until it was too late. Nearly all those in Charley's path were either huddled in bathrooms or in other safe places in our homes. The power of Charley's winds were like being hit by a locomotive train, which is far worse than being slammed by an 18 wheel tractor trailer. Imagine a train smashing through your house because that's just what happened to more than 12,000 houses and mobile homes. If you were inside your mobile home or house, what are the odds that you could have survived such a destructive power and force?

Yet we are being told that roughly 12 people died from the direct impact of hurricane Charley, a 175+ mph locomotive fury. That's merely 1 fatality for every 1,000 TOTALLY destroyed homes. Where did all those people huddled in the 12,000 or so bathrooms go to? Did they somehow get beamed up by Captain Kirk to safety? Did Charley descriminantly avoid all bathrooms where people were hiding and praying?

OK, let's be extremely conservative and say, for illustration only, that half of those completely destroyed homes were vacant. Now we're hypothetically looking at just 6,000 totally destroyed homes with just one person inside when Charley hit with little to no warning. And remember, most of the destroyed homes were flimsy mobile homes, the vast majority of which were older models that did not meet current hurricane safety standards. Are we to believe that there was just one fatality for every 500 demolished homes? And this is a hypothetical "half" figure I'm using here!

People in most of Punta Gorda, Port Charlotte, and the surrounding areas did NOT evacuate. The odds are, most people were in their homes when we got hit. The odds also say that escaping the deadly force of Charley, as evidenced by the destruction left in its aftermath, were slim to none for at least 12,000 homeowners.

By all common sense, and just using the Red Cross statistics released today, it is surely no exaggeration to say that the death toll from Hurricane Charley may reach into thousands.

Now you can see how absurd the "official" death toll is. Add to this the bodies that were seen by so many residents in the late afternoon and early evening hours of Friday, August 13, and it's not possible that there were only 12 or so hurricane directly related deaths.

Americans and the world... WAKE UP and demand that you be told the truth. Call every Florida radio and TV station and tell them to stop lying. Demand that they report the truth.

We refuse to leave any victim behind.

Michael Edward