A Flood of Frances

Small hurricane stories pack a wallop

"It smelled like dirt as soon as it happened," she said.


Cutlar's crowd has been awakened by the sound of a bulldozer clearing the dunes of accumulated sand off of A1A. A local restaurant opens its doors and serves what food it has until it is gone. The party is the last to be served -- chicken tenders for breakfast.

Post-Frances lack of electricity chased people outdoors in Pompano Beach.
Sam Eifling
Post-Frances lack of electricity chased people outdoors in Pompano Beach.
Chad Cutlar (left), Sarah McClure, and Sean Dolan take advantage of a lull between squalls on Fort Lauderdale Beach.
Chad Cutlar (left), Sarah McClure, and Sean Dolan take advantage of a lull between squalls on Fort Lauderdale Beach.

"Thank God for something different," Cutlar says.

At 3 p.m., the sun is out and the breeze is mild. The pizza joint at the corner of Ninth Street and A1A opens for business. A civilian car drives by, then another. In the blink of an eye, there is bumper-to-bumper traffic. People driving slowly by point video cameras at a group of pedestrians as they stand on the corner. The blockade has been lifted, and they no longer have the neighborhood to themselves.

Soon, Cutlar and del Rosal are inviting friends up to the roof, slapping hands and swapping storm stories. In the absence of stoplights, the traffic below is chaotic.

"For 36 hours, there was a cop at every intersection, there were no people, and the lights were working," Cutlar muses. "Now, people are everywhere, but the lights are out -- and there's no cops."

A fresh supply of beer has kept the party going, but Dolan, McClure, Weber, and the others who rode out the storm there have scattered. The bubble of isolation has burst, and the letdown is palpable.

"For the next storm, I'm going to stock up double," Cutlar vows.

Rumor has it that another hurricane is brewing out in the Atlantic. They raise their bottles and toast.

"To Ivan!"

Contributing to this story were: Trevor Aaronson, Eric Alan Barton, Jason Budjinski, Sam Eifling, Courtney Hambright, Rick Kennedy, Edmund Newton, Wyatt Olson, and Audra Schroeder.

« Previous Page
 |
 
1
 
2
 
3
 
4
 
5
 
6
 
All
 
My Voice Nation Help
0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest
 
Loading...