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Brevard County Space Coast: Palm Bay, Melbourne, Titusville area
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Old 01-09-2012, 01:09 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
11 posts, read 35,442 times
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Hi all:

My wife and I are thinking about moving to Brevard County (location TBD, but possibly Melbourne, Melbourne Beach, Satellite Beach, or somewhere in that vicinity) in the next few months, and we are wondering about how frequent and dangerous the hurricanes are there. We both hail from Colorado where there an essentially no natural disasters, and therefore, we only learn about hurricane damage from the nationwide news every couple of years.

Are evacuations common? How about wind/rain damage and insurance costs? Any other thoughts?

Thank you!
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:18 PM
 
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First will have to say...we are on the coast and hurricanes do hit the East coast sometimes, but it has not happened a lot since I moved here in the 70s.

1978- Hurricane David came up the river after making landfall somewhere down by Stuart. It was a minimal hurricane....It was preceded by a tornado that hit here early in the morning. The hurricane hit on Labor Day . It was almost a rainless hurricane. There was damage in the area-mostly roofs and mobile homes and a couple condos on the beach pretty much needed total new interiors. We were without lights for about 3 days. We stayed in our house on the river but on mailnand side. It took part of our block fence and a couple trees down.

Next one that came in was 1995.......Hurricane Erin. again another minimal hurricane but it damaged our roof and took off the neighbors roof on their new addition completely. It rained for a few hours the next day and there was flooding because of the 10 inches of rain. We had moved about 2 miles west of the river.

Then in 1999 Floyd was out in the ocean and gave us all a big scare and a lot more people(including my family ) evacuated because it was a huge storm. It ended up staying off shore. Not a whole lot of damage done even beach side.

Then 2004 came......Charley hit the other coast and went out through Titusville/Daytona Beach part of the state and still did some damage.
Labor Day weekend Hurricane Francis came in South of Brevard and beat up the coast for days.....We were again on the river. but 3 floors up so.....Francis did quite a bit of damage to the area. Mostly roofs, trees, etc. We had evacuated to Tennessee . We drove back while the storm was still in the center of the state because Cantori was doing live shots on US1 just down from where we lived. We were pretty sure we had damage. As far back as South Carolina the signs were saying to gas up because Florida was closed.....hardest thing was finding a restroom once we got in the state. Just as we took the exit to Palm Bay the Naational guard was setting up to card everyone coming in. We did have roof damage and the doors and windows on the Eastside of the building were blown in on almost 100% of the units.

A week later my son and I left my husband to man the place which still didn't have electricity or phones to fly up to Illinois for a family reunion( already had tickets). Airport had roof damage and was leaking like a sieve and had no power still, too.

We flew back home to Florida the day Ivan hit the Gulf Coast. They got us into Atlanta minutes before the then tropical storm Ivan hit The airport. Many on plane were in crqash position because the wings kept dipping. all flights were cancelled and we had to keep rescheduling. Finally about 7:30 they boarded us on a small commuter type plane to melbourne. As we were walking across tarmac another squall came through and we got soaked. We ended up sitting-swaying on the tarmac for about an hour. Then we lined up 3rd to take off. The 2 large planes in front of us returned to terminal, but we took off. We kind of bounced around a little but had an easy flight once out of Atlanta. No one's luggage made it to the plane but ours.

Then a couple weeks later Hurricane Jeanne came in as a 3 once again South of us. We were again on the worst side of the storm and got battered. By this time the area was tarp city so most of us did not even have complete roofs on our houses.
We are hardy folk though and very tired by this time. Hardly anyone even evacuated. One of my friends even stayed in her mobile home on the beach. Jeanne did a lot more damage. We were without lights for over a week. It took about 3 weeks for landline phones to be back on and emergency was using towers so cell phone did not work either for awhile. Firetruck brought us ice every night, though. We learned to live in the dark. We did go to a friend's house at the last minute and slept through the storm even though everyone said it was really going bump in the night. Our plywood had come off so we had lots of water damage etc. . It took us until May to get repairs made. Beachside lots of damage. It took some of the hotels years to rebuild and a few condos never did rebuild.

2005 Wilma hit South Florida and came up the coast again but damage was minimal this far up.

Since then it has been pretty quiet here and I don't even remember any scares. Oh, wait a minute.....there was a tropical storm that dropped about 25 inches of rain and flooded the county pretty bad in some spots.
Really not a lot of hurricanes in almost 40 years so not an every season hit. You usually have time to get ready. Basically if your house meets hurricane standards and the storm is less than a 3 they really are just very big thunderstorms with a day of really high winds. It was scary enough and enough of a pain for us waiting for insurance to come through for repairs to decide to buy farther inland. LOL We now are about 12 miles from the ocean.

If you want to see damage picture just check a search engine for Jeanne or Francis and the county.

As for insurance cost....for some it doubled or tripled after 2004. Many of us got dropped a few times and companies left the state. Citizens is about all you can get beachside at this time.
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Old 01-09-2012, 08:45 PM
 
Location: Palm Bay, FL
334 posts, read 981,951 times
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Like Rabflmom said, they're rare but not unheard of here. Evacuations even for the worst storms are only "mandatory" (unenforced) for people living beachside (on the barrier island) and people in trailers and mobile homes. Most folks put the shutters up and hunker down.

Keep in mind that while Florida as a whole gets storms regularly, it's a big state and it's rare for them to hit any given spot. And even a bad hurricane gets weaker quickly as you get farther from the eye.

When they do come, we get plenty of notice so you'll have time to prepare.
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Old 01-10-2012, 06:37 AM
 
Location: Pittsford, NY
504 posts, read 618,933 times
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Hi jdm09, well I can only go by what I experienced. In 2004 I had over $100K of damage mostly from hurricane Francis, and a tad from hurricane Charlie. I lived beachside Daytona Beach Shores then. When/if they happen it is better to evacuate beachside. If nothing else for your safety not to mention getting your car out too since they can get messed up easily as well. If you buy, buy from a builder who builds up to and much better than the latest codes where the rafters are strapped into ground, garage doors much better, etc.

I will mention that in my experience the worst thing was not the hurricanes but the insurance. We did lose a lot by the hurricane for sure, but dealing with insurance is very hard. At that time they had so many claims they just excluded everything from payments saying things like: oh, the beach salt in the air has erroded it all to no value so we won't pay, oh those walls got "wind blown rain" damage not hurricane damage. All of it garbage. Not only is insurance hard to buy beachside but the insurance companies wriggle out of everything and just don't pay if you have damage. Basically you have to sue them to get paid. So I would not wish that on anyone. Insurance companies might be fine on here and there small damage claims but when a hurricane comes, they run to. Just keep that in mind.
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Old 01-10-2012, 05:55 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
11 posts, read 35,442 times
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Thanks for your responses! When we start looking for houses, we will definitely keep your input in mind. All three of you have been extremely helpful.
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Old 01-13-2012, 10:56 PM
 
Location: Florida/Oberbayern
587 posts, read 924,914 times
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I haven't been here anywhere near as long as the others, but my house has been here since about 1988.

Building regulations then were somewhat more lax than they are now, so originally it probably wasn't too strong. (I had a hurricane survey done and - with the modifications I did[more about that in a minute] it passed OK.)

The house does not have a 'hurricane proof' front door (opens outward) nor does it have a 'hurricane proof' garage door (additional stiffening bars), the structure is standard timber frame with stucco but the roof has (at some time) been strengthened.

My house was built back when electricity was cheap, if it got hot you turned up the AC and the windows were single-pane aluminum-framed windows with no storm shutters. (I replaced them with double-glazed 'hurricane proof' glass (high impact resistance) The alternative was double glazing plus removable shutters, but the 'shutterless' system worked out at about the same price.)

Most of my neighbours have shutters. The previous owner had neither impact-proof glass nor storm shutters. I gather he did get some damage - a golf ball hit a window once - but no storm damage. He was in the house for 22 years.

If a severe hurricane hits, we will have a major problem. There was a period of heavy rain one weekend in October and there was some localised flooding. - If you're looking for a house it might be a good idea to make some enquiries about what is likely to happen if you get heavy rainfall in the road in which you are thinking of buying a home.

This link shows historical hurricane data for Melbourne. - For what it's worth.
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Old 08-24-2014, 09:13 AM
 
1 posts, read 8,348 times
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[url=http://www.hurricanecity.com/city/melbourne.htm]Melbourne,Florida hurricanes[/url]

1871 Aug 18th a 100mph hurricane passes by to the West while moving north
1871,a week later Aug 25th a 90mph cane comes ashore while heading NW
1873 Oct 7th a cat 1 hits from the SW with 90mph winds after hitting ft myers as a cat 3
1876 Oct 20th 90mph from the S.W reports of eye over the area still in dispute reported gusts from the east at 100mph sept 15th
1880 aug 29, 105mph winds from the east heavy flooding.
1885 Aug 24th, 90 mph just east from the south
1893 Aug 27th,120mph winds just east from the S.E
1893 Oct 12th, 120mph just east while turning north from the ESE
1926 July 28th 90mph from the SSE
1928 a 100mph hurricane just south from the S.E causes heavy damage aug 7th
1928 Sept 16th a hurricane with 130mph slams ashore 40 miles to south from the S.E.Newspaper article#1 | #2 | #3 | #4
1949 Aug 27th, 120mph from the S.E just south
1950 hurricane King 15 miles to west oct 18th with 75mph winds causes minor damage here
1960 Sept 11th Hurricane Donna hits well west of here with 115mph winds from the south
1979 Sept 3rd,hurricane David hits direct with 95mph winds press 28.75 minor damage from the south
1995 Aug 2nd hurricane erin hits with 85mph winds from the ESE 350,000 without power hits at low tide minor damage. Newspaper article
2004 Sept 5th, Hurricane Frances hits with 105mph winds. Many trees down,signs damaged power out for days a very large & slow moving hurricane,tree down at house on 810 cedar drive.fences down, damage to car.Cape canaveral Mercury redstone rocket tipped over.Newspaper headline | models 5 days out
2004 Sept 26th, Hurricane Jeanne hits with 120mph winds just south by 45 miles,moderate damage to area, second hurricane in 22 days.Models 4 days before hitting .
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Old 08-24-2014, 11:15 AM
 
Location: Florida -
8,748 posts, read 10,770,005 times
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It has long been speculated that the Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center area and below (including Satellite Beach) is much less prone to direct hurricane hits/major damage, due to land contour and shallow shelf. Whether this is true or not, I don't know, but, having lived directly on (or within 1-block) of the ocean in Satellite Beach for 27-years, we've never seen or worried much about serious hurricanes (ie; Andrew, Katrina, Opal, ...). Between David in 1979 (which hopped over Satellite) and, with the exception of Francis in 2004 (which actually did some roof damage to older buildings) and 2014 (35-years), Satellite hasn't seen many more direct hurricanes than some parts of Nebraska!

This has not kept the insurance companies from raising rates to the point where many folks are essentially 'self-insured' (considering payments plus a 3% of the total property value deductible per claim). Nor does it guarantee that a major hurricane will not hit Satellite Beach this year. But, IMO, the media's "Hurricane Alley hype" is vastly over-reported by weather forecasters who bought a bulk lot of blue windbreakers --- and who falsely lead the folks in IOWA to believe that the dire fear of hurricanes keeps Floridians up at night.
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Old 08-24-2014, 08:15 PM
 
10,576 posts, read 10,792,849 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jghorton View Post
It has long been speculated that the Cape Canaveral/Kennedy Space Center area and below (including Satellite Beach) is much less prone to direct hurricane hits/major damage, due to land contour and shallow shelf. Whether this is true or not, I don't know, but, having lived directly on (or within 1-block) of the ocean in Satellite Beach for 27-years, we've never seen or worried much about serious hurricanes (ie; Andrew, Katrina, Opal, ...). Between David in 1979 (which hopped over Satellite) and, with the exception of Francis in 2004 (which actually did some roof damage to older buildings) and 2014 (35-years), Satellite hasn't seen many more direct hurricanes than some parts of Nebraska!

This has not kept the insurance companies from raising rates to the point where many folks are essentially 'self-insured' (considering payments plus a 3% of the total property value deductible per claim). Nor does it guarantee that a major hurricane will not hit Satellite Beach this year. But, IMO, the media's "Hurricane Alley hype" is vastly over-reported by weather forecasters who bought a bulk lot of blue windbreakers --- and who falsely lead the folks in IOWA to believe that the dire fear of hurricanes keeps Floridians up at night.
Looking at historical patterns, there are probability maps out there to suggest that south FL and the carolinas are statistically more likely to see direct hits in the first place. Jax is probably the safest in that regard.

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Old 08-25-2014, 06:35 AM
 
3,552 posts, read 6,174,470 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by chopchop0 View Post
Looking at historical patterns, there are probability maps out there to suggest that south FL and the carolinas are statistically more likely to see direct hits in the first place. Jax is probably the safest in that regard.
But newbies have to remember that direct hits are not all you have to plan for. The ones I have dealt with mostly come in South of us and come up the state still feeding on the river sort of. It puts us on the NE side of the storm a lot which is the worst side to be on. Also they can be preceded by tornadoes. Or they come in from the Gulf and exit through parts of our area like Charlie did. Then there is the rain that follows sometimes....For example with Erin she hit about midnight. In the morning we had time to do some pick up and get tarps up and them we got 10 inches of rain in a couple hours which flooded a lot of areas.

We went up to a family reunion the week of Francis, so we missed it, but neighbors said the worst thing was it took so long because it was moving slow. They said they could feel it in their first floor condo when our top floor one gave and let the wind in our building. Seeing Cantori on the road down from our house was frightening, cause they tended to send him to the worst areas during the storm
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