My dad, a Florida Keys resident for the past 10 years is a very brave man, not so smart right now or incredibly wise when it comes to judgment, but a brave man. I'm sitting here today, stressed beyond belief because my dad has chosen to ride out this hurricane on a tiny island surrounded by water and with a maximum elevation of 12 feet above sea level (and that's technically in the middle of Rt.1).
"In the Keys, a lot of people are stubborn," said Craig Fugate, director of the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
Yes, I can definitely agree with that statement... My dad calls me on Sunday night to say, "Oh I think this one's going to hit us pretty bad." Then goes on to rave about his new sea kayak for 20 minutes like this storm coming straight at them is some summer rain shower. "And Julie wants you to get Jessica to take some good pictures of the surfers at Narragansett." Priorities... "Dad are you going to evacuate this time?" "No, no we'll be fine" "Ok well call me, and let me know if you need anything" "Ohhh we won't neeeed anything" Ahh I finally see where I get that from... ; )
Anyway, while my dad is "hunkering down" (gotta love those Bush phrases, they must have some crazy uncle in Texas that comes up with all of these) in Marathon, Hurricane Rita is now a Category 2 storm and continuing to batter the Keys. The storm surge is already causing problems and the islands are not designed to handle it. If you've ever been to the Keys, you'll notice that the ocean is never more than a few feet away (ok ok maybe more than a few).
Most importantly, I hope my dad is going to be just fine down there, especially knowing how vulnerable the area is in which he lives. My guess is that the sea kayak was a good investment. Hopefully, he didn't have a lot of property damage, I will have to wait to hear about that. It's so sad for me to think that my paradise is going to be so damaged by this storm : ( I'll be down there in either October or November and I'm sure the mess will still be there.
I'll leave this entry with some pictures of happier times in the Keys : )
This is me on a catamaran at Dry Tortugas, off Key West on a brighter day.
Dry Tortugas, Florida Keys