The formation of Subtropical Storm Fay in the Atlantic on Friday may bring back unpleasant memories for many in Florida who dealt with a storm of the same name six years ago.
While this storm poses no threat to Florida, the previous Tropical Storm Fay was the storm that just wouldn't go away. Its winds weren't that strong, especially compared to the 2004 hurricanes that battered Florida, but Fay stuck around for days in August 2008, leaving behind what then-Gov. Charlie Crist called "catastrophic flooding."
A total of 36 deaths were attributed to Fay, including 11 in Florida alone. In Central Florida, a woman drowned off Daytona Beach under strong rip currents.
Brevard and Volusia counties were especially hard-hit, and areas near the coast were under water for days. Melbourne received 11 inches of rain in a 24-hour period. The ground just couldn't absorb so much rain in such a short time, so it had nowhere else to go.
That caused both immediate problems, such as flooding in homes and yards, and problems that showed up later, like mold and cleanup issues.
Tropical Storm Fay also caused flooding problems inland as the St. Johns River crested in some areas.
Fay spawned numerous tornadoes in Florida, including one in Brevard County that damaged dozens of homes in Barefoot Bay, and one in Polk County after a waterspout formed in Lake Wales.
After Fay finally made its exit, it left behind an estimated $390 million in damages in Florida alone.
But despite Fay's historic flooding in Florida, the name was not retired by the World Meteorological Organization. This new Subtropical Storm Fay in the Atlantic won't threaten Florida, but Bermuda has been placed on a tropical storm watch.
Bright spots in a dark storm
Even through all the suffering during Tropical Storm Fay in 2008, Floridians came together to help weather the storm. As we followed Fay across Florida in 2008, we saw little glimmers of hope in the good deeds of others, including strangers helping strangers. Here are some of the bright spots we saw during the dark storm.
Dawn Meyer, Cape Canaveral
"We had water in our home in Cape Canaveral and several feet of rain in our street.
"After we had secured our home and the water was receding, we went back outside to see if the storm drain was still clear (we and the neighbor had cleared it several times the day before and during the night). As we went out to the end of the street to check that one, we saw that half a dozen people from the neighborhood were keeping it clear. So we joined in and brought garbage cans with drainage holes in the bottom, so we could haul away the debris.
"After several hours of keeping the drains clear, they finally started drawing water, and our street drained completely! It was amazing!
"Thank you everyone who joined in!"
Bruce Reynolds, Cocoa Beach
"Living in a low lying area of Cocoa Beach, we experienced flooding scares during our last wave of hurricanes that came through our area. This time was like nothing else before!!!! I can assure you, we easily received over 2 1/2 feet of water yesterday.
"We desperately tried to push as much water into our already semi drained pool to pump it out to the drainage system. The water just kept coming and coming ... Sandbags, shop vacs, brooms, anything we could find to hold back the tide.
"We were losing the battle, even with the constant pumping of the pool, the water was coming down too fast for the ground to absorb it, and into the house it came, despite our efforts.
"Friends and family came to our help, but it was an unlikely person who saved us from disaster. My sister called the gentleman that built their boathouses and docks, he immediately came with a massive pump, hoses, shovels, and manpower. After spending much time and effort setting it all up, he left us with the pump and the gas to continue our fight. (We took 20 minutes shifts through the night to keep the water from coming in.) We are still at it, but it doesn't seem so hopeless now.
"THIS MAN AND HIS FRIENDS HAD NEVER MET US BEFORE!!!!!
"Thank God for family, friends, and strangers."
"Me, my mom and my two sisters saw that the winds had blown palm fronds into our neighbor's yard. Our neighbor is an elderly women who can barely walk. So we decided we would do her a favor and clean out her yard."
Hope Ascher, Indian Harbour Beach
"I am in Indian Harbour Beach, and the flooding here and the problems related to the flooding are pronounced. Although this is certainly a pretty miserable situation, there are many people who are putting themselves on the line to make it better for us. I can't find out how to say thank you -- but a lot of us want to, so maybe you can say it for us.
"1. Thank you to FPL, who yesterday morning was in Indian Harbour fixing a transformer so we could have our power back on. The road was impassable because of flooding, so I don't know how they managed to work in the middle of intensive storms, standing in water -- but they brought a lot of relief to a lot of us. I know their families needed them, too, and they put us first.
"2. Thank you to the police and city workers of Indian Harbour. I see them patrolling up and down our streets regardless of conditions, insuring that the citizens and city they protect are safe. I'm sure they are wet, tired -- and would like to be home with their families -- but they are here taking care of us.
"3. Thank you to Dr. Newcombe and her staff for coming in -- through flood waters, in high winds, when their own homes were flooding -- to take care of those who are in need of medical help.
"4. Thank you to the folks at Health First Hospice who are there in body and spirit, no matter what happens ever in the outside world, to help those who need them.
"5. Thank you to the folks at Channel 13 who have been my city's window on the world -- without whom we would have no idea what to expect. You remember ALL of your viewers -- not just those in metropolitan areas. A special thanks to David Cochiarella, who knows exactly the news we on the beach need.
"6. Thank you to Brevard's superintendent, Dr. DiPatri, who put students' and staff's safety above missed days of school. His priorities serve his community.
"God bless all of you who are helping us weather the storms. I know eventually the Brevard Tropical Storm Warning will stop saying "Tropial Storm Warning Until Further Notice."
Sharone Barone and Family, Suntree
"My neighbor, Patti Langan, of Suntree, went to Publix today [Thursday] and called the neighbors on the street to see what they needed. She then proceed to shop for us and deliver our groceries. How about that for being our local hero? Kudos to Patti. Thank you Patti! Love you!!!"
"My friends showed up today with cookies, drinks and a water pump. It's just me and my dogs, and I'm fully capable of helping myself (not elderly or handicapped), and my friends know I hate to ask for help even when it's smarter to do so.
"My back deck was steadily filling up with water with no where to drain, and it was starting to creep into my patio. I had been trying to keep up by shoveling it into my pool, and then draining my pool into the street. All of my friends have emailed around to each other to see how everyone was doing these past two days.
"I was prepared to continue my own method of keeping the flood waters at bay, but my doorbell rang during a lull in the squalls this afternoon and there were my friends to help me. I truly am blessed."
Danielle Olsen, Daytona Beach
Olsen said her neighborhood came together to help get a neighbor’s tree off their property.
Olsen said residents managed to lift the main part of the tree off a van, and cut the limbs away and moved them to the side.
The amazing part was the van was still able to start up and go.
Audry James, Melbourne
James was trapped in her house with no one to help her. She lives alone, and did not know what to do when she could not leave her front porch.
Luckily, a sheriff's deputy came by and got her, along with several neighbors, to safety. From there, they spent the night at a Red Cross shelter.
"I'm just thankful to be here right now," James said. "The people here have been fantastic. They actually brought in cots. My first night on a cot, so that'll be great."
James said the cots, like other comforts the Red Cross is providing, are helping to make a bad situation more bearable.
Susan Haskins, Edgewater
"A Bright House employee came to the rescue of Spexy Shades Sunglasses owner Susan Haskins of Edgewater, Florida, in the early hour morning on Wed., August 20, 2008, to fix a line that disconnected due to wind gusts of up to 45 miles per hour. 'Without Internet, our business could fall behind in orders and inquiries.'
"With this being our first summer and sales increasing, we could not let our current and penitential customers down. Bright House employee Jeff Pippin showed up around 8:45 a.m. in his full waterproof suit, with a smile on his face while the stinging rain was most likely blinding him. He never complained once. He just went on working and said, 'OK, you're up and running. Have a nice day, and call us if you need us.' We wanted to thank Bright House for their quick response in getting our business back online. We just couldn't believe they would even come out in weather like this."
Bryan Leonard, Bethune Beach/New Smyrna Beach
"I just wanted to offer a temporary home to any outside dog, cat, rabbit, etc., that has been misplaced or is in need of care. I have a 10 foot by 10 foot screened in cage outside, and can offer tons of love and affection. I have 5 rescued animals, myself, that i keep indoors -- 4 cats and 1 lion head rabbit -- I take care of my neighbors animals and have plenty of local references. I am a member of the ASPCA and WWF. If anyone needs a temporary home, please contact me. I am also a licensed handyman for those in need of help."
Lori Ann Rusinko, Indialantic
"The neighbors are all coming together to keep the storm drains clear, as there has been a lot of flooding between 5th Ave. and Melbourne Ave. in Indialantic.
"I personally had water coming into the house and garage, so [I] built a dam with plastic tarps and firewood. I made like a beaver and saved my house from alot more water.
"The storm drain is clear and the water is now 15 feet from my front door instead of coming in my front door.
"Lots of prayers and great neighbors. 'Life is Good.'"