Hurricanes; that's right, plural, hurricanes with an “s” — two of them within two weeks. Armellini Express Lines, like all of east central Florida, is tired of hurricanes. In the past month, the area surrounding Palm City has provided the bull's eye for direct hits by hurricane Frances first followed less than two weeks later by hurricane Jeanne, both major category four storms. The eye of both storms passed directly over the Armellini property, says Dan McNabb.
The Armellini terminal is about six miles inland from the Atlantic shoreline, so it did not experience the storm surge and high tides felt along the beachfront. Flooding from heavy rains caused little problems as well. “We had a couple of empty trailers knocked over, because someone parked them unprotected in the middle of the trailer yard,” McNabb says. “If we back trailers to the loading dock and park the other parallel to the building in front of them, we don't see much damage from the wind.”
Wind damage to the terminal buildings was relatively light, McNabb says. The roof of the load consolidation building suffered some damage and quite a few rain gutters were blown away.
The real problem suffered by Armellini Express Lines has been the disruption to operations because of damage to the homes and family routines of its workers. A few people lost homes; a few others lost the roof off their homes. Many more have leaking ceilings, because hurricane-force winds blew shingles off their roofs. In addition, workers must make arrangements for childcare, because local schools mostly have been closed for two weeks since the first storm blew through. To make matters worse, many of the affected workers are drivers — not only do they have an emergency situation at home, but they must leave home to do their jobs.