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All Pinzur, All The Time

Sunday, October 10, 2004

Jeanne: One Cold, Cruel Bitch

After I got back from covering Hurricane Jeanne, I promised some photos of the damage. I was working on a tight-ass deadline, so there's not much, but here are two images of an organic cafe/natural food grocery that I wrote about in Melbourne, Fla.

Those used to be floor-to-ceiling windows, essentially the front walls of the store. They had covered the windows with plywood - and covered them well - but the storm was strong enough to rip the aluminum window frames from the building's skeleton.

You can't see, but off to the left, the rest of the front wall was torn off in the same way. The cafe part of the store took the brunt - it was all floored with dark cherry-colored wood, which was destroyed when the rain started rushing in.

Those walls that are still standing? They only survived because they were brand new. Two weeks earlier, Hurricane Frances had ripped those walls off, and the owners replaced them with stronger ones.

The damage was massive. The owner estimated she spent $50,000 after Frances between repairing the store and replacing destoryed or unsellable products. Jeanne, she guessed, was going to be at least as much. Insurance will probably cover much of it, but the deductible was $7,000 - they're always high right on the ocean, and the story is just two blocks off the beach.

So, my friends in New York and Chicago and Boston and Washington, next time you're complaining about the cold weather and blizzards, remember: frostbite won't tear the fucking roof from your house.


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