Hurricane Irma landed on Cudjoe Key as a Category Four hurricane. I was at the police station in Key West at the time but the next day I disinterred my Vespa 150 which I stored at work and I rode home, dodging debris and wires down for 23 miles. The wires at the end of my street off Spanish Main Boulevard were knocked down so low I couldn't ride the last block home and had to duck under them and walk the devastated block. My home was miraculously undamaged.
After a few days Spanish Main was swept clean of debris and windblown RVs from the neighboring Venture Out park and even though electrical repair crews were busy our street didn't get electricity for a couple of weeks.
Keys Energy installed some new poles and slowly raised the wires above car level though we had to live with limited access for weeks. My neighbors worried about how emergency vehicles would enter our street with the still low hanging wires...propped up on pieces of wood to callow cars and motorcycles to pass underneath. A fire truck would never have fit.
Now the entire street is getting new poles and wires in a massive renovation of Spanish Main's electrical lines. The old poles, including the last of the wooden ones, are all being replaced by the latest modern composite power poles with massive crossbeams and new wires.
It is encouraging to see the transformation so hopefully, like the main wires on Highway One our subdivision off this side street stands a better chance in high winds and hurricanes.
We can have high hopes the next hurricane season will find us even better equipped to survive the worst. I've seen what's happened in Mozambique, in Australia and even here at home in the Mid West and there can be no doubt sooner or later another hurricane will hit.
I would be quite happy if these poles and wires weren't put to the ultimate test for a decade or more...
But I'm glad Keys Energy is thinking ahead and getting ready for what will come. Being without power sucks, almost as much as being out of water and we can only hope our pipes will do better this time than they did in Irma. But that shortage was another ghastly story.