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Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Key West and Hurricane Irma – September 27th 2017

Key West and Hurricane Irma – September 27th 2017

Before I lived in Key West, I lived in Cutler Bay, Fla. Cutler Bay was about a thirty-five-minute drive from Key Largo. Consequently, Key Largo was a common weekend jaunt for me. I used to joke and say The Caribbean Club was my local bar, thirty miles from home.

My sister-in-law came over one Sunday afternoon and stated “I had such a great time yesterday! We went down to Key Largo!” Naturally, I asked where she went.

“The Tiki Bar!” was her reply.

My head shook from side to side rapidly and my eyes blinked several times. The Tiki Bar is not even remotely in Key Largo, it's two towns further south than Key Largo, in Islamorada (say: ISLE more ahdah). Here was a college educated RN, who lived in the area for decades and didn't even know where she was.

Every island in the Florida Keys has its own personality and identity. A town like Islamorada is actually a group of islands, each one different.

I run into similar things with folks from out of town, since I've been in Key West.

Friend A “Oh! We were down to Key West but we missed you!”

Me “Oh? When were you down and where were you staying?”

Friend A “We stayed at Glunz Resort!”

Me: “Glunz Resort? Nice place indeed! Glunz Resort is in Marathon, not Key West though. It's fifty miles north of Key West”.

I bring this up for a reason. I recently heard many people outside the Keys are saying “I saw the horrible damage and destruction in Key West”.

For starters, the eye of the hurricane landed around twenty miles north of Key West, not on Key West. The Keys that were greatly affected were Summerland Key, Cudjoe Key, Big Pine Key, Sugarloaf Key, No Name Key, Marathon, as well as bands sweeping down into parts of Islamorada.

(Homes in the Cudjoe Key - Big Pine Key area)

Many of the people in these areas lost.... everything.

A friend of mine who is displaced from her home in Cudjoe Key said “Thank God Key West didn't take the brunt of the hurricane. We will still have jobs!”

These people need soap, paper towels, water, food... everything. They also need prayers.

Key West did sustain quite a bit of hurricane damage, though nothing on the scale of those north of us.

I walked down Duval Street two days ago and I'd say 35% - 40% of the businesses were open. Cruise ships started arriving on Sunday.

Honestly, we do need a bit of recovery time. There is a lot of downed trees that need to be attended to, however, we do have water (thanks to the desal plant!) and power. We do not have internet, but most here in Key West do.

Rumors start, naturally. Someone told me that the eastern part of Fleming street is destroyed. Houses had collapsed. They said. I went there and no houses had collapsed at all. There was a very large tree down, however.

In Closing:

Key West did not blow away. Key West is, in fact, still solidly on the map and should be functional within a week or so.

Damage in Key West. Trees down mostly at this point. Businesses are opening back up.

The Cork and Stogie, 1218nDuval Street is open! This shot was taken on Sunday, September 24th


My brand new book "Time Traveler - The Oddities and Adventures of a Key West Bartender" is now available through Amazon in both paperback and digital download! The paperback includes the digital download for free!

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