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All Pinzur, All The Time

Monday, October 24, 2005

Wilma Redux

We actually weathered the storm pretty well - much better than some of the buildings nearby. We had a little damage to the roof, but nothing major. Our condo is fine, albeit without electricity for the foreseeable future. The worst of it hit us between 7 a.m. and noon today - not terribly much rain, but ridiculous winds. Transformers started exploding on our block around 7 a.m. and we lost power for good about an hour later. But we're well stocked with water and food and wine, so we're very zen about the whole thing.

If you need to find us, use the home number because cell service is practically nonexistant and we can only get email as long as my laptop has some juice.

I drove around for a few hours after the storm passed to do some reporting for the Herald, monitoring the neighborhoods of Northeast Dade and Southeast Broward counties near our building. The worst was just a few blocks east of us along the ocean in Hallandale - a 250-foot construction crane snapped near the Diplomat hotel, dropping across all six lanes of A1A.

A few condo buildings were decimated - all the glass blown out, leaving lobbies and gyms and some condo units swamped. In a few buildings, the winds picked up cars and dropped them on top of other cars, and a few other buildings had the walls and railings of balconies sheared clean away. There are lots of downed trees and, therefore, lots of downed power lines. Some side streets are flooded out, and many more are entirely blocked by uprooted trees. In the building across the street from us, in fact, an uprooted tree crushed a car, and I saw many more of those situations at other buildings. Other parking lots had whole lines of cars whose windshields were sucked out.

We don't have too much news about the rest of the city, just what I've gathered from my colleagues at the Herald. Much of South Florida is without power. A number of high-rises in Miami and Fort Lauderdale had all their glass shattered. All the hospitals are running on generators. The airports are shut down entirely. The Herald has some backup power, but not enough to run the presses - we're publishing out of the Sun-Sentinal's pressroom tonight.

I expect to be back at the Herald newsroom tomorrow for most of the day. We doubt that Lady Pinz's office will have power for at least a day or two.

Mostly, though, we're just very thankful to be safe and to hear hardly any reports of casualties. It's turning into a lovely evening here, so we're bringing a bottle of wine down to to watch the sunset.

Hope those of you in South Florida are doing OK.


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