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Date of Issue: October 27, 2005

Wilma gives Island only a glancing blow

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Wilma KOs power
Deputies from Anna Maria's Manatee County Sheriff's Office substation were forced to close a portion of North Shore Drive Monday after a downed power line posed a threat to motorists and walkers. The power outage affected only a small portion of the city. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin
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Barging in
The barge used by Goodloe Marine to store pipes for its Island beach renourishment project broke its anchor during the high winds of Hurricane Wilma and became stuck in the shallow waters off Bayfront Park. The barge posed no threat to land, said Mayor SueLynn, and Goodloe Marine was expected to tow the barge to its original mooring once the winds and high seas subsided. Islander Photo: Rick Catlin
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Hurricane Wilma had barely passed when a strong cold front blew across the Island, prompting some folks to head to the beach to check out the blustery winds and high surf - again. Islander Photo: Paul Roat

While Hurricane Wilma may have pounded large portions of southwest Florida near Naples, the Category III hurricane was merely an inconvenience to Anna Maria Island.

None of the three Island cities reported any major damage, although power was out in most of Holmes Beach and some areas of Anna Maria from around 12:30 a.m. Monday morning to about 11:30 a.m. that day.

One section of North Shore Drive in Anna Maria remained without power after most of the Island regained its electricity. Anna Maria Mayor SueLynn said a transformer had blown and that section of North Shore Drive was cordoned off from traffic until Florida Power and Light workers could restore power.

Also in Anna Maria, the barge used by the Goodloe Marine for pipe storage in its beach renourishment project broke its moorings offshore of Bayfront Park and was grounded in shallow water by the park. SueLynn said company officials expect to move the barge back to its moorings once normal tides return.

Anna Maria also got some additional real estate from Wilma. A sandbar located about 200 yards north of the Sandbar restaurant appears to have grown several hundred feet farther out into the Gulf of Mexico, while a new sandbar has formed just off Bean Point.

Holmes Beach Superintendent of Public Works Joe Duennes reported no major damage in the city, aside from the usual street flooding and palm fronds torn down.

Bradenton Beach Mayor John Chappie said his city also had no major damage.

"We were lucky once again," said SueLynn.