This morning, Sept.10th, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the lower Florida Keys. As I write this post the center of the storm sits right about over Cudjoe Key, where I once owned a rv lot. Key West sits 23 miles to the west, Marathon, 25 miles to the east. The storm hit as a Cat 4 with 130 mph winds and lots of rain and storm surge.
I was following a lot of social media the night before and up until about midnight you could still watch some webcams of downtown Key West. At the time it didn’t look too bad but conditions were deteriorating fast. This morning reporters are about as close as Key Largo and it’s nasty. I cannot imagine how bad things are in Key West.
It’s amazing this storm, which started near the coast of Africa, somehow managed to meander across thousands of miles of ocean, dodged land masses and steering currents, and still hit the Keys with full force. Odds were long but it happened. Everyone in the Keys knew it was just a matter of time before the islands got hit by the big one, and now it’s going to be a part of the Keys history.
This has been a painful week. Watching the inevitable disaster approach a place which I love and have spent so much of my life visiting and living there. I dread watching the news over the next week when the devastation is finally revealed. I have no idea if any of my friends have made it through ok. All I and the rest of us can do is wait and see.
For any of you out there with a love of the Keys and Key West, who have always dreamed of living on a sailboat down there, who have caught a sunset on Mallory Square, who have an appreciation of Key Lime Pie, who never tire of hearing Margaritaville play on the radio, who have survived a Duval Crawl, who thought of chucking it all and moving to the islands, are feeling some of the pain I am feeling today. Key West is undergoing some major damage and there is no telling what will happen afterwards, but I can’t help think it will not be the same as we know it.
I’ll post when I get some more info on how bad the damage is down there. If anyone gets any news or wants to share a memory or two, feel free to throw up a comment. This storm is not done with the Keys yet and the rest of Florida is about to feel it’s wrath. The worst is not over yet.