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Hurricane Irma: Florida update

Written by
Gemma Fottles

Ranked one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic, the world’s eyes have been set firmly on Hurricane Irma as the storm ripped through the Caribbean before making landfall in Florida over the weekend. With many of our colleagues in the industry residing in areas deeply affected by the storm, here is the latest Florida update courtesy of President of Hargrave Yachts, Michael DiCondina.

“I am happy to report that all our people, our homes, and our boats that were here in Ft. Lauderdale did not sustain any serious damage. Our office building is a good example - some damage to the electric signs and all our awnings are gone. The winds here were over 100 mph so we have trees down, power lines down, and see the kind of damage we are used to experiencing in any major storm.

One of our Hargrave owner’s homes was burglarised, and there were a lot of break-ins in beach neighborhoods which were largely evacuated before the storm hit. The burglars were caught in that particular case and our service team was there to meet with the police, board up the damage, and re-secure the house.

There was an update this morning (12th September) at 11 am from Florida Power & Light and they reported that 60% of the homes in Broward County were still without power. They estimated it would take until the end of the weekend to get over the 90% restored mark. The power trucks were everywhere and they came from as far away as Canada. You would have been impressed to see how well our state and local governments had this storm organised from the day the alarms first went off. The water stayed on throughout the storm and now there are spotty outages and they have to shut down certain areas to make repairs.

I wish you could have seen the way everyone in our world pulled out all the stops to prepare for this hurricane. It was our best effort ever in the past 20 years and probably due to the Category 5 wind speeds we were expecting. Everyone in our office, our key suppliers like Concorde, Black Tie, and Wayne’s crew, our yacht captains and crew, and Roscioli and Cable Marine, all gave 100% to help us get our customer’s boats in the safest possible location and then get them prepared for the type of damage we saw happening down in the islands to buildings and to yachts. We were spared once again here in Fort Lauderdale from a direct hit.

All of our cell phones are working now and we are out in the field checking boats every day, running generators to keep the batteries up, and obviously monitoring the next hurricane. If you need help with anything please give us a call.

Thousands throughout the islands of Barbuda, St. Barth’s, St. Martin, Anguilla and the Virgin Islands now left to deal with devastating damage, with many left with limited access to food and water and completely without power. Though restoration will take weeks, months, even years in both the Caribbean and Florida, you can do your bit to help those affected by the storm through volunteering or donating. Find out more about how you can help here.