Safe as Houses
As Renato, who is seconding me ably on the blog until I can get back online, put it: I am well, but tired.
Hurricane Wilma was at least 2 times worse than Hurricane Katrina, for us down here in South Florida.
Now that I am able to compare these two recent events, I can see what we went through with Katrina was truly just inconvenience.
Sure, we sweated a lot, and sure we were without power and water pressure at times, but at least we had minimal structural damage, and restoration of services was within a week, tops. Not to mention, only one county in Florida was truly affected -- Miami-Dade.
This Wilma aftermath will be much, much trickier.
For one, there are 4 immense counties affected:
1) Miami-Dade -- where Miami, Miami Beach, are located
2) Monroe -- the home of the Florida Keys
3) Broward -- Ft. Lauderdale and environs
4) Palm Beach County -- where West Palm Beach and the toney Palm Beach proper are located.
All 4, plus most of Okeechobee County, where the lake which is our water source lies, of us making over 6 MILLION residents without power, and a great many of us without running or potable water.
That's 98% of us, folks -- a full 1/3 of the state of Florida.
Miami Beach, this time, was not so fortunate.
As I conjectured in my recent reply in the thread below, I think the quick pickup, removal of detritus, and restoration of services were due to two things, which we don't have going for us today:
As I said, this time, we are not this lucky.
There are no Puff Daddies and Missy Elliots this time to the rescue.
But also, we are not forgotten -- the local, State, and Federal governments have done a tremendous job in rallying locals with supplies, and information.
The first and most important thing after a hurricane is to keep the populace secure: to that end, both Miami-Dade and Broward County mayors declared a curfew, which for us in Miami-Dade starts at 8 PM EDT.
No one who isn't going to or from work, will be allowed outside, to minimise not only looting concerns (which are considerable, seeing as how there are already reports of sporadic looting up in Broward), but to assure that traffic accidents are at a minimum, seeing as how there are NO overhead lights, or indeed, traffic signals working ANYWHERE.
Here I'd just like to say that you can see what a contrast it is, when you have a people like South Floridians who are used to hurricanes, pre-and-post, have reacted like, to the pandemonium seen by those of poor unfortunates in New Orleans, especially.
There, neither local, nor State, nor Federal reactions were conmeasurate with their positions of importance -- one of which is to have free-flowing and well-directed management of emergency responses to a catastrophic event.
Almost as a matter-of-course, the Governor of Florida, Jeb Bush, positioned himself here in Miami, so that he could be a visible and immediate presence to his fellow Floridians. He had, after all, lived most of his adult life in this city, in the upscale neighbourhood of Pinecrest (where O.J. Simpson lives today).
And the Miami-Dade County mayor, Carlos Alvarez, started the morning, afternoon and evening with a press conference giving us counsel about water distribution, and general updates ON THE DOT, daily.
We are the only State, to the best of my knowledge, that has a pet-shelter, where citizens who wish to take their pets with them to a shelter, can do so, if they are caged (that one is located near the Florida International University campus, which is also the shelter all evacuees from Key West use. It must be huge).
All of this goes a long way to reassuring people that their surroundings may be chaotic, but their elected officials are trying as much as they can, to slowly restore order to the city.
Poor NOLA residents never stood a chance.
Well, it's almost 6 PM EDT here, and it should be getting quite dark soon. I will try my darndest to update the blog if I can get net access each day.
Having something to do each day, like updating my blog (if I can), emailing, and phoning my friends, really gives me a filip, so you can be assured you may just be a passive reader of Sundries, but you are my lifeline to a better world.
P.S.: RIP Rosa Parks.
More Wilma Images