Hurricane Irma Update

Tuesday, September 26th, 2017

As everyone, (not living in a cave) knows by now, the Florida Keys took a pretty big hit from Hurricane Irma. The Middle Keys, Marathon, Big Pine, Summerland and Cudjoe keys took the worst of it as the eye passed directly over or just west of these keys. Key West actually got very “lucky” and I use the term loosely. We were on the west side of the eye. This was the weaker side of the storm. While there were some homes and businesses with structural damage, and many boats lost, the vast majority of the damage I’ve seen has been downed trees. The fishing fleet at Charter Boat Row did very well all things considered. Some freezers and ice machines lost or damaged and a whole bunch of bait gone bad, but other than a few canvas tops, an out rigger or two and a couple of windows, all the boats are intact. All things considered, the fleet got very lucky. Charter Boat Row is a very well protected body of water and most of the boat owners are experienced at tying up their boats for severe weather, but being on the west side of the eye, even just by 25 miles or so, probably made a major difference in the level of destruction or lack thereof for both the fleet and the city in general. The Utility workers, both those that live in Key West and those that came from out of town or out of state, have done an amazing job getting services back up. Most of Key West have full power and water restored and many of the hotels and guest houses are available for visitors. I watched the weather channel show a devastated trailer park in Islamorada on the news for 3 days and listened to them say it was typical of the damage all up and down the keys. This is simply not true. Granted there are many, many people that lost homes, in no way am I trying to minimize the losses, but the homes in Key West, on the west side of the eye, fared much better than mobile homes in the eye or on the stronger east side of the storm. The Keys, including Key West look brown. Part is dead foliage and part are “naked” trees. 100+mph winds will tend to blow all the leaves off a tree. But it will come back. Some of my trees are already sprouting new leaves. Nature will heal itself and Key West will also. I know I am one of the lucky ones. I suffered almost no damage and my cleanup is almost complete and the Southbound will be ready to go after today. Anyone visiting Key West be advised some services may be limited, some of your favorite restaurants may have limited menus and some of your favorite bars may not have your brand…………on second thought, check that last caution. This is Key West, even a Cat 4 hurricane isn’t going to stop the bars from pouring a libation. Be it for a local, a tourist or one of the many hard working relief workers that came to help. After all, this is a “drinking town” with a bad fishing habit. Key West may not be 100% just yet, but we are open for business and getting better every day

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