Lessons Of Charley

Hurricane Charley ripped, helter-skelter, through Florida and up the East Coast last week, leaving bitter lessons in its path. First, there was the reminder that hurricanes are devilishly hard to predict. Last year, meteorologists at Miami's National Hurricane Center demonstrated remarkable accuracy with their storm-landing forecasts. But on Friday, after a million people were ordered to evacuate the Tampa area, Charley slammed into the shoreline 100 miles to the south instead. The 145-m.p.h. winds twisted aluminum siding as if it were gift ribbon and snapped 100-year-old pine trees. Then, as people raced inland, the storm followed, reminding everyone that on this...

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