We can all sit back and pretend all is well in the world now, ish…..Looks like the Palm Gardens is open and running some ice cold beers and AC on the Dead River just down the canal from the lake Dora show.
Here at WoodyBoater we were on pins and needles waiting to find out how she faired. Its an old rustic place and well, that’s all part of the charm. We are also getting reports that the Canal is not so bad, and power will be on later in the week. Below are some more photos from Paul today, the park is already getting cleaned up. Here is the report from Hurricane Paul.
Sometime ago I committed to a plan to leave Calgary with my truck, attend the ACBS International Show in Racine and proceed from there on down to Florida to take a look at our renovation project. Just before I left, Irma had completed incubation in the Azores and beginning her trek towards Caribbean and the US. With uncertainty around the ultimate track of the storm, I pushed on and basically stuck to my plan. By the time of the show the storm was a topic of hot conversation as numerous attendees live or have property there. We all feared the worst, and this fear was fanned by relentless saturation coverage and a very foreboding tack of the media, perhaps not unjustified in this case. This was indeed a storm of historic dimensions and risk to the entire state – the aftermath proves this to a large extent.
After taking about 8 hours to make what is normally a 4-5 hour drive from Macon on Tuesday, I arrived in the Lake Dora area in the evening, expecting the worst. As I viewed the area in the dusk of last night and in the clarity of a cloudless morning, it became clear – for the Lake County area and much of Florida that I traversed, the impacts were far less destructive and severe than anticipated. Devastating loss of life and property destruction has largely been replaced with inconvenience and frustration with clean up and power loss, rather than more serious things. That’s a good news story, right? Unfortunately for the Keys, it is a much different outcome. There’s a stark difference between devastation and inconvenience.
I viewed Wooten Park this morning (its closed to public access but snuck in briefly) and the docks are totally destroyed – there is no other way to describe it. They were torn off the pilings and twisted, bent, abraded, punctured and smashed against the shore. The newly emancipated docks carried a cargo of miscellaneous pontoon boats, a houseboat and other boats on the short and violent trip to the shore, leaving a discordant phalanx of wrecked boats and dock floats pushed against the shoreline and fuel dock area. FEMA has classified it as an environmental hazard and is limiting access.
The good news is Wooten Park itself is essentially undamaged, and the town has almost completed the clean up already – it will soon be hard to tell the park took a direct hit form a Cat 2 (or 3?) hurricane. The question everyone wants answered is how long will it take to get the docks repaired? I have no idea….
Along Lakeshore Dr. I noticed Gar Wood Ensign partially sunk on its lift (perhaps dislodged by wind and waves), across the street from a mobile home park. I’ve seen this boat for years and it must be owned by a resident – I am sure there are readers who will now who owns it. I didn’t closely inspect the boat but it has taken some damage and will need repair.
I noted several boathouses damaged or destroyed, and several also had boats in place that appeared to have been damaged. Without getting onto the the water, it is hard to get a good view. My own boathouse survived unscathed – no doubt due to the fact that it was recently reconstructed and completed to a high standard by Wise Marine Construction – Chris Wise is a long time woody boater and friend of many in the boating community here. The docks belonging to both my neighbors were severely damaged.
A loose boat is still bobbing up against my seawall – it caused some minor damage and is moderately damaged itself – I don’t know who owns it but it has to be removed, as it’s a hazard. I checked out the properties of many absent friends today and they are all in good shape, save for a few downed trees and a lot of yard clean up.
What struck me in general as I drove around the area today was the lack of serious structural damage, or even evidence of much minor property damage. I even went through a couple of mobile home parks and even these in many cases aged structures have fared well, despite generally being considered as being very vulnerable. The trees and flora have taken a hard hit and the volume of branches and trees that are down is incredible, but the homes and businesses appeared to have suffered little serious or permanent damage. Power is quickly coming back, the traffic lights are mostly working and stores and restaurants are reopening.
It’s clear that the Lake Dora area and many other areas came out of this serious storm much better than expected, and in a week or so there will probably be little visual evidence it even occurred. So, the news here is good and the story is a happy one, considering the forecasts and the fact that the wobble east by the hurricane put Lake Dora in the bulls eye for a direct hit.
Thanks Paul for the updates.
I have no information on the Dora Canal but it is likely that trees are down through there and passage may be difficult or impossible until it is cleared out.