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>Bertha–First 2008 Hurricane Is Headed This Way

Monday, July 7, 2008
Orlando–We’ll hear a lot about Hurricane Bertha in the next two or three days. Recording wind speeds of 75 mph, Bertha was about 845 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands headed west-northwest at about 17 mph.

That means if it continues it’s current course it will hit the Florida east coast in two or three days. But there are plenty of things that can push it in one direction or another and as of yet the National Hurricane Center has given no indication of high pressure troughs coming from Texas or Louisiana that could force it back out to sea.

Meanwhile, Floridians and Gulf Coast residents should get their 72-hour survival kits and food storage in good shape. The last time Central Florida felt the effects of a hurricane was four years ago, in 2004, when three hurricanes damaged homes and took out power, affecting hundreds of thousands of homeowners. However, weather officials say it is too early to tell if this storm will hit land.

In 2004 Floridians received $5.5 billion in federal disaster assistance. Homeowner’s insurance rates in Florida are the third highest in the country, only behind that of Texas and Louisiana. The obvious factor for the high rates is due to hurricane risk

The first named storm this year, Arthur, formed in the Atlantic the day before the season officially started June 1 and soaked the Yucatan Peninsula