Hurricane Charley slammed ashore Fri as a deadly Category 4 storm, pounding FL’s Gulf Coast with 145 mph winds, killing 13 people, destroying homes and businesses and leaving more than 1mln people without power yesterday. In the midst of an emergency order to evacuate area residents, Nielsen staffers held down the fort, their Dunedin HQ smack in the middle of the storm’s projected path. The Dunedin office is where all ratings are produced. "We managed to get the Fri overnights out as usual," an official says. Dunedin is just across the bay from Tampa, where weather trackers expected Charley to touch down Fri afternoon. A last-minute divot saw the hurricane come ashore well south, near Ft Myers. — We received sketchy reports over the weekend about cable’s performance. "We had electricity throughout and Comcast Sarasota was on throughout," retired cable vet Rod Warner reports. "Problems with electricity/cable were localized to the immediate path of the hurricane, in at Charlotte County Punta Gorda , 40 miles south of Sarasota, up through Arcadia, 30 miles east and then a run up over DisneyWorld, west of Orlando, out to sea at Daytona Beach. There was little damage beyond the immediate swath about 10 miles wide." — All facilities and beaches of The Don CeSar Beach Resort in St Pete Beach, FL, reopened Sat at noon; the Resort will be the site of the CableFAX Leaders’ Retreat in late Oct.

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