Key West has dreaded this storm for three decades. There are thousands of residents who’ve never known much more than a tropical storm. That’s about to end in spectacular fashion as Hurricane Irma heads to the Keys..
A few days ago, I hopped a Delta flight from Key West to Charlottesville to spend some time with my mother in the Shenandoah Valley. Today, I’m watching as Hurricane Irma, now a Category 5 storm, bears down on my beloved island.
Those are mixed emotions. I’m safe and will be able to head home for the hard work of the clean up. But, I’m not there and that bugs me as a journalist. So, the best I can do is collect the information from friends and family on the island and share what’s happening.
You’ll find updates, news, information, photos and videos as we make our way through this storm and the aftermath. My husband, Ed, is — as of right now — planning to stay, as are our neighbors. As they say, “where could we go that wouldn’t be driving into the storm.” Ed will be my “reporter” as he and our five cats prepare for the storm and — hopefully — survive it.
Those of us who choose to live on this tiny island 150 miles from the mainland know we put our lives at risk just being here. We are tied to civilization by two umbilical cords. Our water and electricity come from the mainland. Without our bridges, the only way out is by boat. We take those conveniences for granted, of course. But we know, really know, that we’re not much better off than our neighbors in the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, Cuba and the Virgin Islands. We’re an island. There’s nowhere to go.
Over the next few weeks, I’ll use the new Facebook Page to share, and I ask friends to do the same. I’ll keep this blog updated with everything I can gather.
Be safe, my friends!