Sparta Report

Picking up the Pieces After Irma

Having watched this hurricane intently ever since it made landfall in the Leeward Islands in the Caribbean, I feel pretty comfortable in saying that the hit on Florida was not nearly as bad as it could have been.

The hurricane hammered the Florida Keys, unfortunately, and caused massive flooding due to storm surge in many places, as I showed yesterday and today in videos. However, that is a far cry from what happened in Barbuda, which has had to be abandoned by its inhabitants, and St. Martin and Anguilla, which were almost totally destroyed as well.

Can you imagine what would have happened if a major American city like Miami had gotten hit with the same level of force that destroyed those islands? Let’s all be grateful that things did not end up being much, much worse:

Gov. Rick Scott said the damage was not as bad as he had expected — until he saw the devastation in the Middle Keys. Scott spoke with reporters at Opa Locka Airport after an aerial surveillance of Southwest Florida and the Keys.

Asked where he saw the worst damage from Irma, Scott said it was the Keys north of Key West to Marathon.

“When we got to the Keys, we saw a lot of boats washed ashore,” he said. “Almost every trailer park, everything was overturned.”

Scott said residents in the Florida Keys have no water, no sewer and no electricity, and that it will be days or weeks, maybe longer before those services are restored.

More than 62 percent of the state — an estimated 13 million Floridians — remained without power as of 6 p.m. Monday, the Emergency Operations Center said Monday evening.

Of 10.5 million customers statewide, 6.5 million were still out, according to state emergency management officials.

While outages are typically reported in terms of a number of customers, a graphic displayed at the state Emergency Operations Center, as of 6:30 p.m., reported that 13 million individuals were estimated without power, with the worst outages in southwest Florida.

The next day, she was out walking her dog, Moxie, along oceanside streets covered in slowly drying piles of seaweed. Her nearby condo was still without power or running water as of Monday afternoon, but she’s thankful the town she loves was spared from the worst of the storm.

“I love the fact that I endured the storm here, in my hometown,” she said. “I’m certain that if the storm had hit directly things would be quite different.”

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