Hurricane Charley Changed Punta Gorda

by Mike Miller
(Naples, Florida)

Punta Gorda Florida Indian

Punta Gorda Florida Indian

Hurricane Charley slammed into Punta Gorda, Florida on Friday the 13th of August, 2004.

My sailboat, AWOL, was in Burnt Store Marina south of town. She lost her mast, bimini top, bow sprit, bow pulpit and lifelines.

It was enough damage that the insurance company had to ponder for some time whether to fix or scrap her. Fixing won out, and she was towed to the nearest boatyard that didn't have a huge hurricane-related backlog. That was Sailors Wharf up in St. Pete.

The wind damage to homes, especially mobile homes, was devasting in the area around Punta Gorda and surrounding Charlotte County.

The familiar blue tarp covering a badly damaged roof was the signature of thousands of homes in the area for the next couple of years.

A friend of mine who lives aboard his sailboat stayed aboard during the storm. He took pictures and videos of the whole event as the winds and tide screeched through Burnt Store Marina.

Although these visual records were helpful with my insurance company, no amount of beer should convince a person to stay aboard a boat during a hurricane. He is lucky to be alive.

The defiant red Indian that stood for years at a Punta Gorda motel survived Charley, but the motel didn't fare as well. The Indian was moved to a new location, but is no longer red.

The wind driven sand and debris gave the poor old guy an effective dermabrasion, and he is now a paleface.

Click here to post comments

Join in and write your own page! It's easy to do. How? Simply click here to return to Florida Tales.


Over 64,000 followers can't be wrong. Learn about off the beaten path Old Florida, historic towns, attractions,  festivals, scenic drives and more.

Like Us On Facebook


First Name

Enjoy our free monthly ezine with news of day trips, towns, inns, festivals, food, history and more.

Recent Articles

  1. Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour: One of Florida's Oldest Attractions

    Mar 19, 18 01:10 PM

    The Winter Park Scenic Boat Tour has been entertaining and educating guests since 1938.

    Read More

  2. Florida Tourist Attractions: A Day or More of Fun and Adventure

    Mar 19, 18 12:37 PM

    Florida Tourist attractions are more than just the big Orlando theme parks. Have fun and save money visiting some of the original attractions and museums.

    Read More

  3. Florida Tourist Attractions: List of Admission Fees

    Mar 19, 18 12:29 PM

    Florida attraction admission fees change frequently and there are often special deals available. This table gives the most current basic admission fee information.

    Read More