Friday, September 12, 2008

The History and Impact of Hurricanes on Sanibel

On August 13, 2004, Sanibel Island was hit hard by Hurricane Charley, a category four hurricane and the strongest to hit southwest Florida since Hurricane Donna in September 1960. While much of the vegetation native to the island survived, the stately but non-native Australian pines suffered serious damage, blocking nearly every road.

Wildlife officials were also concerned that nests of birds and sea turtles were destroyed. The Sanibel Lighthouse survived with little damage, and the Sanibel Causeway suffered relatively minor damage, save for a toll booth tilted partly over, and erosion of a small seawall. Blind Pass was again cut through, but refilled less than one month later.

Most important to know is that every 20 or so years Sanibel Island takes a significant hit, and about every 40 years a major one.

But at this time of year,September, as tropical storms swirl around in the caribbean, panic strikes in the hearts of residents and property owners on Sanibel Island.

Statistically, based on 40 years between major hurricanes, any given person has only 2 chances in their life time to witness a major hurricane on Sanibel.

What that means for vacation rentals is a dearth of inquiries and bookings in September and often October as well. That's an opportunity knocking for those seeking discounts and last minute booking prices.

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