Hurricane Frances

At about 1 AM on Sunday, September 5, 2004, the eye of Hurricane Frances made landfall near the Stuart Inlet about 20 miles south of Fort Pierce, Florida. Frances had maximum sustained winds near 105 mph, and hurricane-force winds extended outward 85 miles from the storm's center. Due to the storm's slow forward motion of less than five knots, the leading edge of the eye had come ashore hours earlier between Palm Beach on the south and Fort Pierce on the north. Strong winds arrived in Fort Pierce mid Saturday morning and continued until early afternoon on Sunday. As the hurricane came ashore, the eye passed just south of Fort Pierce, so that Fort Pierce remained in its northern eye wall for an extended period of time. The hurricane lingered over Florida's peninsula for 24 hours, stalling over the coast for several hours. Remarkably, Fort Pierce Utilities Authority didn't lose power until about 10:30 PM Saturday, but the power stayed off for nine days. Water pressure was lost at about the same time and was restored in four days. Bell South's telephone service was never interrupted, although my phone line was on the ground under fallen branches.