my personal blog

October 26, 2005

200 Years Ago…

Filed under: news,personal — Alfonso Surroca @ 3:07 am

Right now, I'm leeching an unsecured Wi-Fi conneciton up in one of the very few areas that has already gotten power back up, so I'll make this post quick.

Hurricane Wilma hit South Florida as a major hurricane (Category 3), but nothing even remotely close to the level with which Hurricane Andrew hit us. Despite this, Wilma dealt a crushing blow to South Florida's entire infrastructure, especially power (and subsequently communications). Many of Florida Power and Light's power substations were severely damaged by debris, and as such FPL is restoring power at a painstakingly slow rate.

Right now, only 13% of South Florida has any power. Out here (in West Kendall), we've been sent about 200 years into the past. There is virtually no electricity anywhere in the city, and thus no traffic lights. Cellular towers are apparently almost out, and as such most cellular phones have no signal, or (at best) sporadic connections. There are very few landline phones. Some areas, like ours, have little water, and some still have contaminated water. There are only a few gas stations open in South Florida, each with a mile- or multi-mile-long line.

School, both at the public and university level, has been cancelled until Monday. To my knowledge, my job is still without power, and even if they did have any, I'd never know. I haven't been able to brave the several-hour lines of traffic it would take to get that far East, and I have no cellular, or landline phone service right now. Starbucks isn't being very helpful either; their website basically tells me to call my store manager for information. Without a phone line? Should I shout really loud?

At worst, we could be living in this pre-modern civilization down here for the next month. At best, just a few weeks. This is no New Orleans/Katrina level disaster, but that's only because we have competent municipal governments who don't have their heads up their asses. The National Guard was out the day after the hurricane (what was that bullshit I heard after Katrina how the Guard takes a week to mobilze?) There were more cops directing traffic in West Kendall than there were as a whole in New Orleans. And people are helping each other instead of looting (er, "finding") stores. If Louisiana after Hurricane Katrina was the model of what not to do after a hurricane, Florida after Hurrican Wilma will be the model of how to do it right.

technorati tags: hurricane, naturaldisaster, miami

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