Hurricane Andrew ~25 Years Ago Today

On this day 25 years ago…

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On the evening of August 24th 1992 Hurricane Andrew Category 5 hit hard and relentless. It missed Key West by about 60 miles. The devastation and death toll was highly underscored by the government.

The hurricane also tore through aviaries, Miami MetroZoo, Monkey Jungle and businesses that peddled exotic animals. That damage unleashed hordes of monkeys, wild birds, llamas, vipers, cougars, gazelles, and, according to some reports, one lion

Today 25 years ago, exactly a month after my arrival in the Keys.

Hurricane Andrew devastated the lower Florida coast, notably Miami and Homestead, missing us by a mere 50-60 miles.

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Source: Miami News

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Key West Grotto
Personal Photo Collection

They say 65 person died in the storm of the century.

A storm of such magnitude and devastation, such catastrophic destruction only killed 65 persons.

Not believable any way you may look at it.

Guess they did not consider all the illegal persons, undocumented farm workers in the Everglades and surrounding area’s that were missing.
The minimal caretakers of hospitals, zoos and so forth.

I will never forget the stench of death as we drove my grandson to the Miami Hospital for his surgery.

Driving through Homestead it literally looked as if a bomb had been dropped.
Everything was barren of life, just flattened out like a pancake.

My grandson was only 5 years old.

The hospital was empty of persons and personnel, like a tomb of sorts, a hollow echo.

The papers filled with page after page of missing loved ones.
1,000’s and even double, even triple that were gone in a flash, blown and swept out to sea, the Everglades.

Those that were found never had a proper burial and were disposed of in mass graves.

The Media will say anything as their comments in the news “Florida sunshine is open,we are still here.”

This regrettably contradicted and misaligned with the Billboards signs asking “Have you seen my Loved one?”

Those that hunkered down and did not heed the evacuation orders were left on their own. Everything closed. The hospitals, police protection.

We belonged to that group.

A bit of wind that knocked several coconuts to the ground.
Loss of electric, phone service was our fate.

After an amazing four hurricanes (Charley, Frances, Jeanne, Ivan) hit Florida in 2004, you would think the following year wouldn’t be as bad.

Then Dennis, Katrina and Wilma all made landfall as hurricanes in Florida during the historic 2005 Hurricane Season.

Rita passed south of the Florida Keys that year, but did produce significant storm surge flooding in Key West.

Hurricane Wilma was quite the experience. No electric for 9-10 days. The Storm Surge brought massive Flooding from the Gulf and The Atlantic saying a Howdy Do.

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Source: Keys News

Many of our beloved trees were ripped apart during 1998 Hurricane George.

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Personal Photo Collection

and Hurricane George took out Houseboat Road, which made the City Government of Key West very happy indeed.

Clip from the Keys Newspaper

18 Wheels to Key West


MileMarker1

I don’t believe I have ever put this journey into written format.

In April 1992 I received a written letter from my daughter. She encouraged me to please leave the life that was controlling me in Michigan. I had lived there going on 10 years. I was stuck, in another hole in my sidewalk so too speak.

But, that’s another story.

So, one evening in July I decided too leave. I carried my purse and nothing else. I walked about 3 miles to the truck stop on the outskirts of Benton Harbor-Saint Joseph. It was a holiday weekend, the 4 th of July was just in a few days. I secured a ride with a gentleman who I expected was going South as he said. We ended up delivering watermelons to some where North across the border.

Canada.

I remember anticipating Fireworks but it wasn’t the good ole U.S.A. No fireworks for me. Trying to come back across he was stopped and the border patrol arrested him for a concealed weapon. They let me walk back into the States. On to the next truck stop. I decided to call my ex’s mother. She said I needed to notify the police that I had left of my own accord. Otherwise with the history between her son and myself he would be questioned concerning my sudden disappearance.  I did notify them but did not inform them I was hitching to Key West.

It was hot. No change of clothes, little money. The money I did have was taken from the trucks toll caddy bin. Mostly change. I would stealthily enter the trucks while the operators were inside eating or using the baths.

I found another ride that was going to Miami. A nice older guy who talked of his family constantly. I had to stay alert and was so tired. The perils of hitch hiking never once invaded my thoughts.

Finally Miami. I went to a Salvation Army and received a clean change of clothes and over heard two men talking about there recent wedding in Vegas. They said they couldn’t wait too see Key West. My ears perked up and I casually walked over too them. Shortly after meeting them I was sound a sleep in the back seat of there convertible on the way to the Keys. I felt safe with them.

I have been here now going on 21 years.

Sometimes you just gotta do what you gotta do.

Take a chance.

Best decision of my life.

I was not only a mother again too my daughter I was a grandmother too.

So Blessed.

Belated April Fools 2013 from Key West


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Just got yesterday’s paper and since it is not online I decided to post pictures I took of some of the articles.

Lots of Laughs this April Fool’s.

Kudos to the Key West Citizen.

Click to Enlarge Photographs

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Mount Trashmore Resort                                     Secret tunnel under Key West

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Flights to London                                                                     Last Person Obit

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Officers Tase each other                                              The Weather this week

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City to name Chickens                                                     Road rage in full swing

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Spring Breakers                                                                    Nyad Finishes Record swim

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Around the Keys

 

Mangrove Jungle


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Y esterday we went out to Snipes Point on the boat.

When we left the sky was dark and it was raining really hard. When we got to the dock it was sunny, but almost immediately turned dark. Seems the rain followed us. We left for the open water. On arrival, the sky cleared and the sun came out too play. Not a mere drop of rain was felt the rest of the trip. It is always so different there. The sea oats have protected the shoreline and there are more sand dunes peppered along the beach area. Got some great shots and video.

and some color…

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Urrrgg~Yellow Pages


Flag of the Conch’s @Key West,FL

Yes,folks we have a our very own tiny “The Conch Republic Yellow Pages and Business White Pages for Key West and the Lower Keys. The print is in gray ink and so small you need a magnifier glass to see it. Unless of course you have a young child close by who has great eyesight.

I think I will make a door stopper out of it. Then again it’s so small, maybe I will just use the pages to clean the bathroom mirror after showering.

I will find some use for it 🙂

I have been beating my head against the wall all morning. Looking for numbers and finally finding them only to hear “We’re sorry, this number is no longer in service.”  Thinking I must have dialed wrong or possibly written the number down wrong, I redialed.  Same results.  Hearing that horrid sound in my ear whining or the screaming Fax machines persons leave on…URGG!  is so annoying and frustrating.

Then resorting to a call too 411 that they will charge me for. Then having them give me the exact numbers that are longer in service. The annoying thing about this, these are important numbers having too do with government offices, health clinics, etc, etc.

Immediately calling 411 back and demanding credit for a wrong number.

Someone needs to redo the Key West Yellow Pages.

One listing says  “Care Center for Metal Health”…Really!!!
Can we say TYPO ?

Then of course you have the numbers that do answer. You hear that lovely elevator music in the background that is either obnoxious or deafening…

1. If this is an emergency please go to the nearest hospital

2. If this is not an emergency, we are busy now and can not take your call

3. Please leave your name and number and a brief message

4. If you would like to speak with a representative,please stay on the phone,someone will be with you shortly

5. We are having an unusual amount of calls, if you do not want to remain on the line please hang up.

6. If you remain on the line, there is a wait of approximately 10-15 minutes.
After waiting, if no one has connected with you, please hang up and try your call again

I just said the heck with this, and rode to the places I was trying too connect too. It is a 2 x 4 Island. Oh and I filled my moped up (Cost $4.17 ) Price of a gallon of gas.
When I arrived everyone was out to lunch or had taken the day off.

It is a gorgeous, palms swaying day out, a sunny, warm 79 °.

At any rate I did accomplish today what I planned doing yesterday. It was so nice out I took the day off.

Seemed like a good day to feed the ducks.

Just Ducky
@Key West,FL