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Fay blows through Florida
Here we go again.
A two-year lull in hurricane activity was snapped Monday as Fay made brief landfall over Key West.
Ominously, Fay is now threatening the Sunshine State's southwest coast much like Hurricane Charley did in 2004. That devastating hurricane started a two-year nightmare.
When it was all over, plenty of homes and businesses were damaged, and the state's insurance industry was in tatters. There aren't many "blue roofs" left from those awful storm seasons, but today, many Floridians are still paying a high price - literally - for all the damage caused back then.
Fay isn't expected to be as strong as Charley. But it's taking a similar track and could impact a more populated area to the north, in the vicinity of Tampa.
Once Fay makes landfall and clears out, we'll find out a few things from this storm. For starters, we'll see if Florida's insurance reforms have made the industry strong enough to weather a direct hit.
For the most part, people from Key West to Naples to the Tampa Bay area have prepared. Broward schools postponed the start of their academic year at least through Wednesday, just in case.
So there hasn't been much complacency. Let's hope lessons from the past about not venturing recklessly into a storm's aftermath are remembered, too.
Today, our state's west coast will bear the brunt of Fay's fury. The rest of us can only hope Fay is a not a sign of more to come.
BOTTOM LINE: Hope Fay is an isolated storm, not the first in a string.