THE BLOG FLUME - Bedtime for Frances
The hurricane closed central Florida theme parks for the traditionally busy Labor Day weekend. But this might not be the last storm of the season to hit the state.
Written by Robert Niles
Frances Costs Theme Parks $41 Million in Lost RevenueTweet
AP, Sept. 6
That's just a drop compared to the $2- to $5 billion in estimated insured losses when the storm's damage is tallied across the state. Walt Disney World, Universal Orlando and SeaWorld Orlando closed Saturday and Sunday of the U.S. Labor Day holiday weekend. The parks reopened Monday, but coupled with earlier closings due to Hurricane Charley, expect the three companies to take a hit for their third quarter theme park earnings.
"State officials urged people to stay where they were because of the possibility of flooding and the difficulty of finding service stations still in operation. 'Our message is: turn around — don't drown. If you do not have to travel, don't do so today,' state meteorologist Ben Nelson said at a news briefing Monday."
TPI'er Matthew Armstrong filed reports throughout the storm's advance across the state. He reported that outer bands struck SeaWorld and Universal, but that Disney World experienced much more wind and rain. Damage reports to come.
Hurricane warnings in effect for Barbados, St. Lucia and Trinidad. The Nation Hurricane Center estimates that the storm, with winds of 125 mph, will strengthen as it takes a course just south of Hispaniola. That course would tend to place it on the Gulf side of Florida, if it hits the state. But it's early -- who knows where this storm could end up?
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