TEMPERATURES SHOULD DROP BY FRIDAY

Rain, wind not expected with next cold front


Published: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 2, 2003 at 1:11 a.m.
Another cold front is coming, but it won't be a stormy repeat of the tree-toppling rain and wind of New Year's Eve.
Today is expected to be a balmy 70 degrees and partly cloudy in the Gainesville area, Matt Zibura of the National Weather Service in Jacksonville said. But it will turn cloudy and cold again Friday and Saturday with high temperatures in the 50s and lows in the 30s.
"It will be a cold front, but it won't be like what we had Tuesday," Zibura said. "That was quite a strong system that came across the gulf."
The harsh weather knocked trees through at least two houses, left yards full of tree debris, caused power outages and canceled Gainesville's downtown New Year's Eve celebration.
The wind toppled a large oak tree in the yard of the Joni Messler Studio of Dance on NW 16th Avenue.
Dance teacher Joni Messler lives next door to her business - but she said she didn't know about the downed tree until a neighbor called to tell her Wednesday morning.
"During the storm, my husband said he thought he heard a branch falling," she said. "But there wasn't any really loud noise. We had no idea what had happened."
Messler said the tree tore a hole in the roof of the studio, flooding a storage room where she had stored costumes for a recent production of "The Little Match Girl." But she said the flooding spared a room where the Gainesville Ballet Company stores $100,000 worth of costumes.
Messler said she hoped to have the school open again by Monday.
Cindy Swirko can be reached at 374-5024 or swirkoc@gvillesun.com.

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