Saturday, September 9, 2017

Getting Close

Winds around 2 pm went above 40 mph as the National Hurricane Center predicted. I went for  a walk and I just looked around and photographed what I saw. This walk would no longer be possible this Saturday afternoon, just to be clear. Tonight they say it will land in the early hours as a category four with plenty of flooding.
Key West Police are not evacuating but police cars will no longer responding soon. We will continue to take phone calls 24 hours even though we cannot send help at the height of the storm. Our jobs kick in after the  storm to help people recover.
Fire and Rescue have already stopped responding. Monroe County is not responding at all any more. The hospitals are closed and all businesses are closed and winds are getting strong enough to make the Highway unsafe to travel even though it is not officially closed.

 Damage in Bayview Park. I imagine there's a lot more trash there by now...

Birds not of a feather huddling together.

 He didn't look happy:

 Anticipating...corny I know but I couldn't resist.
 Artistic shot of hurricane shutters.
Truman Avenue looking east.
 White Street looking south.
 Rain and a chicken. They do amazingly well:
 Closed of course:
 Leaves were down:
Even the nudie bar and liquor store are closed. The car under the eave is to ease the fears of the owner in a Category Five.
 I hope the flying debris hits the wooden planks:
 Nice plywood shutters well made:
 The weirdest shutters I have ever seen, plastic sheets clipped to the house very professionally.
One of our local subjects talking loudly to herself and refusing help lest you freak out. She's been though more storms than you've had hot dinners.
 The Spanish Lime crop may have been devastated:
They are small lychee-like citrus fruit with a leathery skin and large pit inside covered in white tart fruit. Much enjoyed in Key West:

 It was still rideable.

North Roosevelt Boulevard looking toward Stock Island from in front of the police station:

 Winds were just starting to pick as I completed my circuit around 1 pm
 Kristi was glad to see me! I think.
I was glad to get back into the building as the  wind and rain increased exponentially.

Omega Man

There is something magical about this hurricane evacuation that has been like no other. Just about everyone has left. Usually you get a bunch of blowhards who will never pack their bags and they mock those that do. This time everyone got into gear and drove north. 
In the 1971  movie the Omega Man refers to the last letter of the Greek alphabet and  therefore the last man alive, Charlton Heston  who lives alone in a world of weird night zombies who try to figure how to dislodge him from his fortress high rise apartment. The daylight hours are his, all by himself in his convertible with his gun. 
    Image result for omega man heston
In the same way I felt alone riding through suburbia where no one was stirring:

The boat anchored in the middle of the canal is the classic survival technique in hurricane season after everyone has evacuated and no one uses the waterway. It might work...but if it makes the boat owner feel better it did all it needed to do did this technique:
 More and more and more cars have been piled along the Overseas Highway high spots. Supposedly we may see 3 to 6 foot storm surge Sunday with the storm's  arrival. This may save the cars:
Hurricane Irma has a lot to answer for. Granted it is slow tourist season but still all these facilities closed means loss of money:
That favorite car goes up on the ramp, even though it lacks a roof and doors. It's all about avoiding flooding which became a huge issue after Hurricane Wilma flooded the Keys in 2005, right after Katrina flooded New Orleans. Before that I never saw such attention to flood possibilities.
And it all just looks so lovely: 
 The cluster of live aboard boats here at the Big Coppitt boat ramp is gone. Smart people:
A sight you don't often see, the Big Coppitt Key Shell station not open for business. The Circle K store is a beacon of light when I ride home in the midnight darkness, and now it is all boarded up.  Weird:
 Across the street I saw the perky multi colored Habitat homes built over the protests of the then neighbors who thought they would lower the tone of the place. I guess they were wrong.
There are two ways to let people know your pumps are out of action, either for the duration of the storm like this, with the pumps wrapped:
 Or sometimes they put plastic gloves on the pump handles which they can whip off if they get a fuel delivery. This thing about flooding really worries a lot of people, including scooter rental places. Check out the next two pictures taken not  that far apart in space and twelve years apart in time:
Related image
I remember during Hurricane Wilma I figured Wendy's would do well instead the roof failed to kept out the rain and though the store was above the general flooding (above from a city of Key West image) it was still wrecked.:
 And one of the three places still open to sell booze was Conchtown Liquors, I also saw Bare Assets and Don's Place functioning yesterday in some capacity.
People often get upset because homeless residents display a streak of  irritating independence. Many don't want to go to the shelters, they want to drink. And so they do and visitors see them and complain no one loves them. Which is unfortunate because a community of this size rarely offers as many services for the homeless and working poor, including a place to sleep, food and medical care.
This picture was a sight you will rarely see at Publix (the "new Publix" for Key Westers) in Key Plaza:
All the  heaps of crumpled wrecked bikes are gone replaced by modern racks with serviceable machines:
 And the same goes for the motorbike parking at the Half Shell, all gone:
In other news Monroe County appears to be shutting down rather faster than the city. The Sheriff's phones are shutting down today and its not clear how many services will be in the county by the time this Category Five storm comes to town....My Facebook link is at the top of the link column on the left side of this page. I will keep posting there as long as I am alive and have a phone signal.