We just got cell service late last night. Our house is untouched. No landscaping except for one banana plant with fruit about to ripen. Anna did not fare so well. She stayed and is fine but her house had about 4′ of water. She has safe accommodations. We have a generator that runs lights and two refrigerators that we are sharing with the neighbors. No power yet but that is coming on slowly is select areas. Water is on now but not potable. We have plenty of drinking water.Fuel is scarce and on a cash basis. Good and ice is now available thanks to Publix. One participant, 96yo Jean that I have known for 39 years, insisted on staying despite me begging her to leave. She is fine. I check on her regularly. Key West was spared the brunt of the storm and has power now in many areas.Our Sombrero Beach moved inland. There was several feet of sand on the adjoining road. Obviously there is a lot of work to be done. All the local law enforcement stop by the house in the morning for coffee. They are sure a welcome sight. We are and will be under a dusk to dawn curfew that is strictly enforced. Thanks for your concern and glad we are all OK. ” – Jeff PinkusStill digging out from under the debris and will be for a while. Key Largo is lucky as we now have cell, power and Internet – all within the last 24 hours. We seem to be a staging area for services for the Lower Keys – they got hit very hard, though Key West was on the SW quadrant, so escaped with the least damage. Heard Marathon Oceanside hit harder than Gulf side. Same for Upper Keys – though we were further from the eye. Military, EMS, Police from out of state are now common in Key Largo. Hotels busy with out-of-state service workers. Re-entry to the Keys is being staged by zones and last report, only Key Largo down to Mile Marker 74 allowed in. The mainland checkpoint is being tough, thankfully restricting entry to service workers and residents. The roads need to be kept free of congestion so the utility and military vehicles, etc. can flow easier. Large military helicopters flying south is a regular daily occurrence.Saw Jeff Pinkus on Monday as he reentered the Keys. Marathon services are still out, as far as I know. It may be a while until we are in touch on a regular basis again. Others are gradually checking in as they start to return to the Keys, or think about it. We have no regrets staying and felt very safe throughout, despite the water rising. Learning much from the experience. Sylvie stopped by today with a jar of FLKTTC honey – how sweet! Thankfully they did not suffer water damage. – Jill Paterson
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