Charlotte County residents remember Hurricane Charley

Published: September 23, 2022 4:58 PM EDT
Updated: September 23, 2022 5:48 PM EDT

Charlotte County residents remember Hurricane Charley as Southwest Florida tracks the potential storm.

Experts say this storm is taking a similar path that hurricane Charley did back in 2004.

Charley was a category 4 hurricane that struck Charlotte County leaving businesses and homes destroyed.

Jacob Layton was a little boy but he remembers Charley hitting his childhood home in downtown Punta Gorda.

“Thankfully, it didn’t destroy our house. But you know, a lot of flooding, flooded our house, we had to mop the water out and everything. But it’s an old block historic house, so it made it but ever since then, there’s been tons of vacant lots in town, because it really did destroy a good chunk of the town,” Layton said.

We’re still days away but the storm track is eerily similar to the one Charley followed all those years ago.

John Nordstrom worked at the Charlotte County Correctional Institution back when Hurricane Charley hit.

“Charlotte harbor it’s coming to you. And as like, we had no time to board up no time to prepare, because we were barely in the cone of uncertainty and then it came right up the charlotte river,” Nordstrom said.

Charley went through Charlotte County fast and left behind unimaginable wreckage.

“I have friends that lived over on Peace River Drive, they were out of power for 32 days. That was trees and buildings and debris all the light poles everything downtown was pretty much decimated,” Nordstrom said.

Nordstrom said it was very devastating.

“I mean, friends and we’re all helping each other. It’s when a community comes together is when you know, you have a good community,” Nordstrom said.

One thing the people of Punta Gorda and Charlotte County know is that a storm’s track can suddenly shift.

So while they will prepare for what’s ahead and hope this time the storm shifts away.