COCOA BEACH, FLORIDA — Seven million Floridians had been threatened by Hurricane Dorian, but now that the storm's threat has dissipated, those residents are feeling as much relief for their own situation as they're feeling sympathy for the Bahamas.
"The poor people in the Bahamas, they took the brunt of it," Martha Carter, a Cape Canaveral resident, told PIX11 News. "Thank God there wasn't anything left for us, but it's very unfortunate for them."
"We dodged a cannonball," she added.
She was among a variety of people who'd come to the beach on Wednesday, after the mandatory evacuation order had been lifted from the barrier islands of Florida's east coast.
"I think we were incredibly lucky," said Scott Driver, another Cape Canaveral resident.
His neighbor, Jay Singer, agreed. "We dodged a bullet, absolutely," he said.
Florida has been struck by 25 named storms in the last decade, resulting in more than 150 deaths.
Residents here had been very concerned that Dorian could add to the casualties list in the Sunshine State. Their concerns were relieved by Wednesday midday, when the storm moved north.
However, because Dorian had left so many deaths and so much damage in its wake in the Caribbean, people on the Central Florida coast said that their hearts not only went out to the Bahamian people, they also expressed added concern, as they look at the remaining 11 weeks of hurricane season.
"There's a couple of [storms growing in the Atlantic] already," Martha Carson said. "We have to be prepared and be alert. We're leaving our shutters up," she added, referring to the hurricane-grade window covers at her home.
Tropical Storm Gabrielle is currently in the eastern Atlantic, and currently poses no threat to the Caribbean or North America.