Greg and Cherie meet Wilma
Greg and Cherie
had planned to go to the Florida Keys this week, but are holed up near Miami... wednesday's report:
Just wanted to send a note out to everyone about the hurricane. Cherie, I and Brian flew into Miami on Sunday, the day before Wilma struck south Florida. We stayed with Patrick and Patsy in Broward county. The hurricane was a bit stronger than the typical hurricane we expect in South Florida and did quite a number on things in this corner of the country. After it passed we spent Monday afternoon pulling Scirocco [greg's boat] off the rocks in Miami, and pumping out the seawater that was a few inches above the floor-boards. The winds broke the mooring lines (not sure if it was the result of another boat dragging into us or not) and somehow a porthole on the stern got busted in and the boat took quite a bit of water. Luckily the manual pump cleared all the water out and the motor fired up and we were able to return the boat to the dock. Scirocco should be alright after a thorough rinsing out with fresh water and a drying out of everything inside.
98% of the residents of Broward and Dade counties (Ft Lauderdale & Miami) do not currently have power, and power is expected to take 1-4 weeks to restore to these areas. West Palm to my understanding is not much better, and Monroe county (the Florida keys) is in bad shape as well. No electricity means things like water, gas, groceries, or anything else you can think of are only available the very few places there are generators. For example, out of the 20,000 traffic lights in Dade (Miami) only 18 are functioning.
Since Monday though this morning we stuck it out at Patrick & Patsy's in Broward. Supplies have been sporadic. An attempt made yesterday to pick up ice and water at a designated distribution point was thwarted by a screw-up at the county's main distribution point; the ice/water trucks never showed up! Meanwhile Cherie and I waited in a gas line for three hours, moving hardly 10 car lengths. We counted up the cars and multiplied by the number of minutes per car and figured out we had 10 to 20 hours to wait for fuel. So we went home empty-handed.
(Land line) Phone service has worked on and off over the last few days and we were able to get in touch with our friend Lisa, who was to meet us in Key West. She was able to drive down from Vero Beach and pick us up to bring us north, where things are a bit more normal. Things in the Keys are still up in the air. US1 to the keys is open, but a third of the homes in the keys are still flooded.
So that's the update! We are currently in Vero Beach, which has normal services. Obviously our original plans are a bit up in the air right now. We are all healthy, and luckily there was very few injuries due to the hurricane.