(Weather Master)
Wed Oct 26 2005 01:34 PM
Re: latest TWO

Report from NW Broward - Margate / Coral Springs / Deerfield:

Note to mods: I hope this is right place for this info... if not please redirect.

Basically a repeat of what NWBroward said - the front side of the eye wall (eastern side) was no big deal, some small trees came down as wind was blowing 60 with gusts to 80 mph I'd guess. Then the back side hit and YIKES, wind was steady out of the west at 80 and gusting to 100 or more. Eye was cloudy and breeze (40 mph gusts).

In general many trees down, minor roof damage, lots of screened patios/pool enclosures gone, most fences down. Damage varies, for example my brother's place in Deerfield is worst, as every single tree is down and I'm talking BIG old trees. In Oakland Park (2 miles west of the ocean) my buddies Florida Room had the sliding glass doors blow out and the roof peeled back! Personally my house is fine, we lost some roof tiles and all the trees in the backyard including three 30' Queen Palms are sitting at a 45 degree angle, thankfully they missed the house. I'm going to upload some pictures later.

After two days it has become apparent to me that the power is going to be out for a long time. So I just made the 2 hour drive from Broward to Highland County to reach my parents place in Lake Placid. The area around Lake O got hit hard too, however small pockets have power and some gas is available there if your willing to wait. Back home no such luck... power is out in 90% of the county (population 1 million!), maybe 1% of gas stations are open and those that are have 2 to 3 miles worth of traffic surrounding them. Traffic is a nightmare, no signals, no gas, people just driving aimless about looking for gas, it was dangerous so we got out. Long lines for water and ice are relief stations, very few officals around, mostly just local cops trying to keep order and direct traffic. Biggest problem is lack of gas for generators, some grocery stores are open selling no perisables, it's not that bad provided you have plenty of gas to cover the large distances between open stores. With the lack of gas driving anywhere is a big risk since there could be none by the time you arrive.

Major damage to the power grid in the tri-county area, I live 2 blocks from an FLP substation and there is twisted metal and broken lines. Rough estimated is 4 weeks for power to come in most areas but could be as many as 6 weeks in remote sections. Power is back on in Miami Beach and MIA is funcational, but FTL and Port Everglades are not. I figure I'll be up here Lake Placid for atleast a week, maybe two. Nothing to do back home anyway, no power at work for either me or the wife.

FYI - If your trying to reach family in Dade, Broward or Palm Beach I can tell you the following: I'm sure they are fine, no structual damage to speak of really - sure some sections of roof came off, moblie homes were tossed about but your average apartment, condo or single family building is OK. Some cars got crushed by trees. However the phones are very messed up, you never know when or if they are going to work. All day Monday after the storm we had land lines, but as of Tuesday AM they went down. Cell phones are very iffy, best bet is text messages. I can only get in touch with my brother via text messages and he only lives 7 miles from me! Communication is near impossible, I went to work and wrote a note that got tapped to the bosses office door, all attempts to contact him via cell phone have failed (he live in northern Palm Beach BTW).

Thank god the weather cooled off, most dramatic change in weather I have ever experienced. I'll try to post pictures, just sorting thru the various sites and email right now. Sorry for any spelling mistakes, typing pretty fast here.

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