No one expected that the vigorous 2004 Atlantic hurricane season would hit Florida repeatedly: four hurricanes and a tropical storm made landfall within in a six-week period.

The first one, Charley, was forecast to land near Tampa Bay, and many people evacuated in anticipation, only to be caught in the middle of it. The Category 4 hurricane came ashore on the Gulf Coast on Aug. 13, 2004, unexpectedly hitting the Punta Gorda area with a top sustained wind speed of 145 miles per hour, causing extensive damage. It was narrow and fast moving, and retained speeds of more than 100 miles per hour as it moved on a northeasterly course through Orlando and Daytona.

Victims of Charley, still reeling with shock from the destruction, were settling in to wait for their insurance adjusters when Hurricane Frances followed three weeks later. This time, the storm came in from the Atlantic Ocean, with the wind and rain effects starting on Sept. 3. Finally, it reached land on Sept. 5 at Sewall's Point near Melbourne, on the east coast of Florida, with a top sustained wind speed of 105 miles per hour.

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