MIDWAY, Fla. (WTXL) -- The middle part of the first decade of the millennium featured storm strikes like Florida had not experienced in a long time. Four hurricanes criss-crossed nearly every crevice of the Sunshine State in 2004, and storm-weary residents in the Panhandle had little relief from the onslaught of additional tropical troubles in 2005.
I was the morning meteorologist at WTXL during the period of hyper hurricane activity. It was during this time when the Storm Team was quickly building its reputation as a leading source of breaking weather information for the North Florida region. In the more youthful phase of my career, I was eager to go into the storm zones and tell the stories of those who were being heavily impacted by hurricane after hurricane. And Pensacola residents had more than their fair share by the time Hurricane Dennis lurked offshore.
Dennis had previously been a Category 4 major hurricane as it slid into southeastern Cuba. Though slightly weaker as it crept toward the northern Gulf, the hurricane collided with the beaches of Santa Rosa Island in the early afternoon of July 10, 2005.
In the series of days I had reported from the western Panhandle during that newest surge in tropical activity, the people of Escambia County and surrounding areas, already hugely battered by storms like Ivan and Opal, showed readiness and resilience.
This news report from the event is one account of how the people of Pensacola coped as Hurricane Dennis lashed at their beautiful shore and landscape.