Thursday, June 21, 2018

Disney exhibit puts eye on Hurricane Charley

ORLANDO — Hurricane Charley, one of the most destructive storms to strike the United States, is getting the Disney treatment.

A new exhibit opening in late August at Disney's Epcot Innoventions pavilion will put visitors in the eye of the storm's lashing Category 4 winds using 3-D technology and surround sound.

Disney officials talked about "StormStruck: The Tale of Two Homes," during the Governor's Hurricane Conference on Friday.

Presenters said that visitors would be shown how fortifying a home against a storm can change the outcome for the home. Two examples of homes will be used, one that survived Charley, and another that didn't.

Designers hope the attraction will motivate residents to construct their homes like Chris Webb, whose home on Gulfview Road in Punta Gorda was virtually unscathed. Neighbor Jim Minardi's house, however, was a total loss, the retired college administrator said.

The difference maker was how the houses' roofs, walls and floors were tied together.

The exhibit is being sponsored for three years by the Federal Alliance for Safe Homes, a nonprofit organization that promotes disaster safety and practices that create homes better suited to withstand disasters.

Charley struck in August 2004 and caused nearly $7 billion in property damage in Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

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