Kissimmee (pronounced (IPA) /kɪˈsɪmi/, with the accent on the second syllable) is on the northwest shore of Lake Tohopekaliga (locally called "Lake Toho", "West Lake Toho" or simply "West Lake"). It was founded in the mid-19th century as Allendale. The name was changed when the city was incorporated in 1883.
Cattle ranching was an important part of the local economy for a century or so before the opening of nearby Walt Disney World. After that, tourism and development supplanted cattle ranching to a large measure; however, cattle ranches still remain nearby, particularly in the southern part of Osceola County.
On August 13, 2004, Hurricane Charley stormed through Kissimmee bringing damaging winds in excess of 100 miles per hour. The hurricane rolled through bringing damage to homes and buildings, fallen trees and 100 percent of the residents without power. Kissimmee Utility Authority restored power to 54 percent of the residents in the first 72 hours; 85 percent were restored within one week
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