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Response mixed to evac orders

Not again.

They evacuated for Charley and Frances. Now for the third time, mobile home residents in North Pinellas were told to leave because of Hurricane Jeanne.

Many were asleep when the evacuation order came Saturday night. Others figured they'd ride out the storm. They had been lucky _ so far.

Raymond James, 52, broke out his trusty supply of Budweiser beer. He refused to evacuate during Charley and Frances, choosing to protect his mobile home in High Point from looters. Yet another hurricane wasn't going to change his mind.

Besides, he went to bed at 9:30 p.m. _ long before police came to the mobile home park at 1 a.m. to tell residents to leave.

After losing power while watching Tales from the Crypt Sunday afternoon, James got together with several of his neighbors to drink and watch the winds whip around the park. A squirrel scampered around outside in the pelting rain.

"If the squirrel can deal with it, so can we," said his neighbor, Wayne Huntington, 46.

In Tarpon Springs on Saturday night, as police used bullhorns to tell residents of the Linger Longer Mobile Home & RV Park to get out, Joe Mandich decided he and Rex, his Lhasa Apso, would evacuate _ to the cab of his black Ford F-350.

"This is a really heavy truck _ built for high winds," said the 62-year-old retired auto plant worker from Ohio.

When Charley was headed this way, he took his truck north, toward Atlanta. For Frances, he stayed put in the mobile home where he has lived for five years.

This time, the storm-weary Mandich believed Jeanne was serious, and he was vulnerable. Sticking it out in the truck meant he'd be safe, and close to his bathroom and refrigerator, he said. He had two tanks of gas, a stock of cigarettes and the radio tuned to all-hurricane news, all-the-time.

As for the "For Sale" sign pasted to the side of the truck, he said, "I might take that off."

Not far from Mandich's truck, a score of his neighbors sought shelter in Linger Longer's rec hall. Originally, they were supposed to be at the hall Sunday for a park-sponsored BBQ/hurricane cleanup.

"It's still going to happen," assured Nancy Powers, who along with her husband, John, manages the park of 97 homes and 150 RV sites.

But instead of picking up old storm debris, the neighbors huddled around a tiny television, played cards and entertained their pets.

The devastating images of destroyed mobile homes from Charley, Frances and Ivan hardly frightened this bunch. "We've had practice" evacuating, Powers said. Most of these neighbors don't mind the impromptu party.

"You think, if a hurricane came in a Category 5, no matter if you live in a concrete castle or a tent, you better get out," Powers said.

But the reality, Claire Baker acknowledged, was that these hurricanes aren't exactly a party.

"It's anxiety," Baker said. "And it's getting old."

Paul Rainville, 77, wasn't anxious. Jaded, maybe. He made sure he had enough food and water stockpiled in his mobile home at Louis Palms Senior Mobile Home Park in Largo.

"It's just a small chance it'll be serious," he said.

The storm shook up his home a little bit. Part of his screen was ripped, and his mailbox fell down.

"Most people stayed," he said. "(We) felt it was safe."

Many residents, however, picked up that Jeanne's threat was real.

Alan and Priscilla Moniz scrambled to gather some necessities, pack snacks in coolers and leave their mobile home in Crystal Bay mobile home park on Sunday morning. The couple, who have lived in their one-bedroom unit for about a year, rode out the first few evacuations at their son's home in Sumter County.

Not this time, Priscilla Moniz said, "he's going to get it worse than us."

They went to the Red Cross shelter at the United Methodist Church in Tarpon Springs.

SEMINOLE: Roy Brady and Beth Mikula entertain their daughter Skyler, 4, at Bauder Elementary School on Sunday morning as Jeanne powers through. They evacuated their mobile home in Sun Piper Mobile Home Park in Largo.

LARGO: Gusty winds from Jeanne whip a flag and queen palms Sunday morning along Redwood Lane at the deserted Teakwood Village Mobile Home Park. County officials ordered residents of mobile homes to evacuate.

A portion of the roof was damaged when a tree, above, fell onto a condo unit in the Mission Hills condominium complex in Clearwater as Jeanne powered its way through the area. At left, Seminole firefighter/EMT Jim Lundh helps Seminole resident Ann Rochette, 89, into Bauder Elementary School Sunday morning. Pinellas County officials had ordered a mandatory evacuation of mobile homes and Rochette, a resident of Harbor Lights Mobile Home Park, said "It's my third time to evacuate. I'm getting used to it." Mobile home residents with pets had fewer options as many shelters do not allow pets. At right, waves pound the seawall near Coachman Park in Clearwater as tropical storm force winds from Jeanne lash the area and fling sand that stung like hail. Surging waves turned the coastline to muck. Not surprisingly, the beach was empty Sunday.

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