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Former Corydon residents stand up to Hurricane Charley

The might of Hurricane Charley defies comprehension even in tornado country. Storms with winds in excess of 70 miles per hour turned Harrison County into a federal disaster area this spring. Charley came ashore in Florida on Friday as a Category 4 storm with winds of up to 145 mph.
Though downgraded, Charley still possessed 80 mph winds when it hit Orlando, almost 200 miles later.
Along the way, Charley struck Cape Coral, home of Jason and Nancy Knear. Jason is a graduate of Corydon Central High School and a former disc jockey for WDJX in Louisville.
‘Me, personally, I was terrified ’cause usually when storm time comes around, I want to take cover. Everybody was like, ‘Well, it’s not going to hit here.’ When it was right off the coast, everyone’s attitude changed real quick,’ he said.
The Knears’ home was built to hurricane standards. The roof trusses were rated to withstand winds of up to 130 mph. The hurricane shutters were rated for up to 125 mph.
Basic arithmetic added up to time to leave for the Knears.
They fled with their three small children to a shelter at a local school and found it was 1,000 persons over capacity. They were turned away, and in 75 mph winds they drove to another shelter, Nancy said.
Through the windows, the rain and wind created the appearance of a blizzard. The landscape dissolved as visibility turned to zero. Two police officers barricaded the doors against the wind using vending machines.
‘It’s still kind of surreal. It’s like, ‘What just happened?’ ‘ Jason Knear said.
At 115 mph, Charley was easier on Cape Coral than anticipated. Damage was hit and miss. The Knears’ home was unscathed. Across the road, a neighbor’s home was missing most of its shingles. A neighborhood away, stop signs were twisted, utility poles snapped, trees uprooted, roofs torn off.
Charley was on its way to Fort Myers.
Josephine Bottles, sister to Marvin Alstott and Phyllis Heishman of Corydon, and her husband, Russel, live in North Fort Meyers. They used to live in Harrison County.
Their doublewide mobile home didn’t share the concrete block construction and other fortifications of the Knears’ residence. The roof was ripped apart down the center of the home alignment, resulting in substantial water damage.
The Bottles family’s furniture and personal items have been placed in storage, and they are now staying with their son, Nathan, and his wife, Kaye, in Fort Myers.

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