Report from Key West, Florida
From Shannan and David McCain
DON’T COME HOME TO KEY WEST UNLESS YOU BRING SUPPLIES!!!!!!!!!
Plenty of gas
It is miserable.
By the time they let you back in it will be much better, but I can tell you this. I learned how to load a gun fast this week. Looters every night in a town that is pitch black. We have had some drama in our neighborhood. I will be able to write a book after this. That first night we slept in shifts & had to protect our neighbors houses. I wish I were exaggerating. We were in the street with bats & guns. Last night someone was rumbling around the guy on the corners house too. Looting is really bad on Big Coppitt too I hear.
Tonight, the army is flying in. Their big planes are flying over our house right now. The police are back and patrolling. There is life again. But it was a hairy 3 days. I do know what the end of the world feels like now.
We did not have any information from the outside world so we could not believe our cell phones came back on an hour ago.
The first day on the way home from the shelter we had to abandon our vehicles & run through knee deep storm surge during hurricane force winds to get to our house because there was no way to get to our neighborhood. We had a 2 inch storm surge inside our house and tornado damage, missing fences, trees all down, something impaled our utility trailer, but we were prepared to have nothing left so we were so excited to have a house. For this we feel so blessed! All I wanted was my photos. When I saw the surge was only knee deep I was excited. If you have lost everything you are extremely excited for things like this.
But please pray for the Lower Keys. There are entire neighborhoods missing on Ramrod & Cudjoe. They just started looking for bodies up there. There are already a dozen who have died in this storm here.
I try not to say anything that is a rumor. Anything I say came from a deputy’s mouth directly to my ears. Where would we have been without the help of our neighbor deputy who was on duty, but checked on us anyways. There will be so many recommendations from me.
Tornados hit random areas in Key West so some people have had a different experience than others. Our side had a storm surge. But we were prepared to have no house at all so we are grateful.
But the aftermath has been very hard. I learned a lot this week.
Not sure when anyone is allowed back, but if you come back, COME PREPARED. Today they passed out two bottles of water per person. But there has been nothing at all. And there has been no gas. I waited for 4 and a half hours today for gas and they found out there was water in it. Everyone was freaking out because generators need gas.
But the best moment for me was seeing my house still standing & then Shannon walking into my house the next day. She had been unaccounted for up on Cudjoe. We love her so much! I cried when I saw her walk into my house & that she was alive.
Overwhelmed to have contact with my family and outside world again. I don’t ever want to hear anyone complain about our love of communication again. Going off the grid is over rated. It’s only good when you have a choice.
This past three days was Martial Law. Too much like a video game and Walking Dead. Someday it will be an exciting memory, but way too stressful at the time.
I sit in my yard now so filthy and sweating to death, but so excited to see those blue lights racing up and down our street. Law is back!!!!!!!!!!!!! We need them! You will be deleted if you ever run down our law or military again! They are necessary!
Man does not make good decisions without a structure.
As far as houses go. There has not been gas so I have not been able to go up the Keys to check Holly’s house. I have checked everyone else’s house that I know. I can tell you specifics in text. Nobody lost their house in my immediate friend group. Nobody had a storm surge inside their house except for us that I know of. If I had a key I checked your houses.
Just do not come back today because it is not comfortable. It is filthy. And you will need supplies to make it bearable. The rotting meat in everyone’s freezers is a problem, but without water I cannot go clean up stuff. But if you ask me to do something specific I will.
I would still stay for any hurricane. But I will always stay in a Cat 5 dwelling from now on after this.
My thanks to people who band together. El Mocho gave us some meat last night & we cooked it & kinda had a little front hard survival barbecue. Lots of stories. I learned just how much we actually will defend our neighbors.