Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog - Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

Edison & Ford Winter Estates Blog

President’s Update ~ September

Posted by Edison Ford Winter Estates On August 29th

August 24, 2012

I am writing this update as we also finish preparations for Isaac which is about four days away at this point.

Many members, visitors and residents ask us how and when do we get ready, and our answer is that we prepare for weather around the clock, all year long. In fact, our decisions for restoration and improvements are made with consideration of issues of weather as we are a seven days a week operation open from 9:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

 Hurricane season starts June 1 and runs through November. Curatorial staff must complete the photo inventory of objects, homes and gardens before June 1 with offsite storage of data. Therefore, we are ready with current information before the hurricane season begins.

 Today, we are completing the removal of furniture, automobiles and garden furnishings from the riverside buildings. Most of the furnishings will be displayed in the Edison Ford Museum – until they can be safely returned to the riverside buildings. Storm panels are in place on all buildings which were strapped and reinforced with other storm protection during the recent restoration.

 Visitors can call the main number at 239-334-7419 and speak with staff before planning to visit during storm conditions. Generally, we follow Lee County closings which advises on road conditions, school and business closings. Security staff is always on site and we work to open quickly after a storm because it is difficult to explain to a visitor who drove many hours that we are not open.

 Safety as well as quick re-opening to the public are our goals. 

The photo you see here is one of our final projects in storm mitigation. Contractors recently removed the deteriorating and non-historic wooden pier from the Ford property and the non-historic old wooden planking from the dock on the Edison property. Neither were historic elements and both were potentially dangerous in storm conditions both to our site as well as to others.

And lastly, did you know that Thomas Edison considered the threat of storm surge when he selected his property which is elevated and features a small cove. As a result of Edison’s care in selecting the site and his location of the buildings and plants, it has historically experienced only minimal storm damage over the years. Ford’s site is similar.

Chief Curator’s Note
The system of naming hurricanes did not start until 1955, but local storm activity includes:
1888 – Unnamed hurricane
1894 – Unnamed hurricane
1906 – South Florida Hurricane
1910 – Storm destroyed 200 feet of the dock and boathouse
1926 – Great Miami Hurricane
1928 – Okeechobee Hurricane
1944 – Hurricane destroyed Edison dock and his electric launch, Reliance. Minimal damage to the gardens and roofs of the homes and lab.
1960 – Donna
1992 – Andrew
2004 – Charley
2005 – Wilma

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