Throwback Thursday: Ivan, Irma & Ian

Leo Tolstoy: All happy families are alike; each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way

Hurricanes are part of life in Florida. Each hurricane is unhappy in its own way.

In September 2004, Hurricane Ivan hit the Panhandle and curved back to Vero Beach as a tropical storm dumping nearly a foot of rain – between Hurricanes Frances and Jeanne. Slow-moving Category #2 Hurricane Frances came first. The stress of that storm coupled with soggy conditions brought by Tropical Storm Ivan caused a significant number of large live oaks (Quercus virginiana) in the mesic hammock area at the Oslo Riverfront Conservation Area (ORCA) to topple when Category #3 Hurricane Jeanne came to town …

In 2017, Hurricane Irma enveloped the entire state and brought scorching salt-laden winds even to the western part of Indian River County. The live oaks and canopy at the ORCA recovered quickly.

Lots of hammock plants – native and invasive – were scorched by Hurricane Irma and, like the live oaks, promptly recovered, shedding their scorched leaves …

In 2022, Indian River County (IRC) was spared much of the wrath of Hurricane Ian, which made landfall at Cayo Costa as a strong Category 4 hurricane that brought catastrophic storm surge to southwest Florida. IRC saw tropical storm force winds and fared well.

%d bloggers like this: