The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida on September 15, 1999 · Page 7
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The Palm Beach Post from West Palm Beach, Florida · Page 7

West Palm Beach, Florida
Issue Date:
Wednesday, September 15, 1999
Page 7
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WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 15, 1999 7A When storm threatens, neighbors are styles apart THE PALM BEACH POST on -no Frank Cerabino Commentary ; N. n i TrirT Jr ' m ij " i i V J All the pain not in vain: C'mon, Gert McClintock, 33, came here from California in 1993. "Give me an earthquake any day," she says. "You don't have to prepare, you don't have to anticipate, and it's over in a minute. Except the cleanup." Kennedy, 41, knows about cleanup. He's the Trash Bureau supervisor for Palm Beach. "We'll truck the equivalent of a forest out of Palm Beach next week," he says. Kennedy will tell you his house is built of Dade County pine. "Built like you wouldn't believe." McClintock will offer you a popsicle or cup of tea. These two don't have much in common. Except that they're neighbors. Kennedy crosses the street, climbs up a ladder, bolts down some plywood for McClintock. When Kennedy travels, McClintock volunteers to keep an eye on the house. Sometimes they meet while walking their dogs. Chat When she buys firewood, the neighbors are told to help themselves. She's not exactly prepared for Floyd. Kennedy is aces. Hell check on her when the storm passes. Shell check on him. Storms come. Go. Windows may blow out, doors blow in. And some neighbors will always be there. Even if they're one sheet short of a hurricane-proof window. By Paul Reid Palm Beach Post Staff Writer j At 2 p.m. Tuesday the sound of a TV newscast floats through the open windows of Felicia Mc-Clintock's house, a pretty 1940s wood-frame house one block from the Intracoastal in West Palm Be,ach. If you are home, stay home, the broadcaster intones. If you have not put up storm shutters, especially plywood, don't. Too windy already. ! Two o'clock and Felicia McClintock is standing on a short stdol, a sheet of plywood in her outstretched arms, looking for all the world like she's about to take flight j Her dozen or so windows and three exterior doors are open because McClintock likes to keep them open. The breeze, she says. But more than a breeze was this way coming, and McClintock was not exactly prepared. She has enough plywood generously donated by her brother, Bruce of Various odd shapes and sizes to coyer a few windows in their entirety and many others partially. i Meanwhile, across the street, Bob Kennedy is standing in front of the wood-frame house he mved here from the Hillcrest neighborhood in 1992. He's surveying his handiwork. This guy is handy. And ready. His neighbors note that he often can be seen weekends tinkering with his window shutters, planing them, sanding them. Getting them ready. "I got home from work at 7 last night, had them up by 8," he says. "Some windows are missing the original shutters, so it took till midnight to get everything nailed down, loose objects stored." Bob Kennedy is, quite clearly, a planner. Felicia McClintock, quite clearly, is not At least not regarding hurricanes. An accountant, she is known by her neighbors to be bright and hard-working, helps folks prepare income tax returns, gardens, walks her little dog down to the Intracoastal. And hasn't hung a piece of plywood in six years as a Florida resident. "I watched the TV reports until midnight last night,"'she says, her hammer in hand. "I set my alarm for 5 to go to Home Depot. But I overslept. So, here we are. You do what you can do." Did she go out for supplies anyway? Tea. Earl Grey tea," she says. Kennedy, meanwhile, has enough supplies to open a catering company. McClintock's ladder is up against the house. Kennedy's is locked in his garage. McClintock's miniature Do-berman, Aiko, is off chasing big dogs. It looks like it could go airborne any minute. Kennedy's little terrier, Andy, is inside asleep. McClintock runs out of plywood, so she screws down what she has and the result looks like a line of railroad ties. They'll work fine if the wind is truly intermittent in a horizontal sort of way. Kennedy's shutters close without seams. Ms. Haphazard: Felicia McClintock, an accountant, hasn't hung a piece of plywood in the six years she's lived in Florida. Mr. Perfect: Bob Kennedy, supervisor of Palm Beach's Trash Bureau, got home at 7 p.m. from work Monday and had his shutters up an hour later. Photos by PAUL REID ' - .. . ' " , , - '' - " " - ' ' ' . r J " " : . i" or i i i -Hn I i i rr J - --V; 1 ' '-' Lr-y .'. . 1 -TV" " i :?t '1. . - ; Pick bagels over doughnuts when its time to hole up inside "We have been very busy," he said. And doughnut makers were not alone. Many people stayed home on Tuesday, but those who , By Clay Lambert Palm Beach Post Staff Writer Mike Patel, a food-service professional who ' boasts years of experience with hard weather ' and soft doughnuts, offers the following ad- did venture into work stayed on their toes. Take Denise Tarrant shift leader at outside." Some had more pressing concerns than which movie to watch. Workers at area treatment centers reported a busy day Tuesday, too. "It's like we're going down with the ship, baby!" said a man who answered the telephone at the Watershed Treatment Center in Boca Raton. The center maintains a 24-hour alcohol-treatment hot line and the man, who said Alcoholics Anonymous rules preclude him from giving out his name, said calls were pouring in Tuesday. "The phones are ringing off the hook," he said. "Most of the homeless and hurricane shelters are full and people are scared." ; vice to survive a hurricane both fat and happy: , . t "Go with the bagels," said Patel, owner pf four Dunkin' Donuts franchises in . palm Beach County. "They last longer." Patel let his workers go home about 2 the Hollywood Video store in Wellington. "Oh my God, this might be the busiest day we have ever had," she said,' not K f s ing that the suburban video rental business has been open since November 1998. "We p.m. Tuesday, but not before doing a ner business. He said Tuesday sales were up about one-third over usual numbers. opened about an hour early because we had a line DEALING WITH ANY DAMAGE: NEWS YOU CAN USE (Mm Here's my Hurricane Floyd box score: fl Number of trips to Home Depot since Sunday 5 Number of trips to Home Depot that involved buying the wrong kind of hurricane supplies 4 Number of ankles bloodied by an inattentive plywood cart driver at Home Depot 1 fl Number of drill bits broken while trying to hang my hurricane shutters 3 fl Number of times my wife uttered the sentence, "That's not going to work," during the past two days 15 Number of times I invoked the name of the Creator while hanging hurricane shutters 95 fl Number of times it began raining while hanging my hurricane shutters 3 Number of minutes spent watching the Miami Dolphins on Monday Night Football 0 fl Number of frantic calls from distant relatives 56 Number of times I used the expression "cone of death" when talking to those relatives 0 Percentage probability that I'll be eating way too much canned tuna in the near future 100 fl Number of weird dreams that featured a mysterious appearance of Dr. Steve Lyons of The Weather Channel 1 Dollar value of fragile outdoor plants I bought last week, and now wish I hadn't 250 fl Number of alleged vegetarians in my household 4 B Number of cans of deviled ham and Vienna sausages bought at Pub-lix during past two days 12 fl Number of days spent watering my lawn during past few days 0 fl Number of months pregnant my wife is 9 fl Number of times I imagined delivering my third child during the storm, hunkering under a mattress in a clothes closet 35 fl Number of my wife's obstetricians who say it's just a myth that hurricanes inducing pregnant women to go into labor 1 fl Number of babies the obstetrician's partner says he delivered during Hurricane David 9 Number of Palm Beach County hurricane shelters that welcome pets 0 fl Number of dogs I have 1 fl Percentage probability that my wife would leave the dog home alone 0 B Number of hours spent hearing about Hurricane Floyd's "imminent turn to the north" 18 B Number of hours Floyd kept heading west 18 Number of Blockbuster videos to return 2 Number of children, who despite hurricane winds, will want to know whether they can have a friend over the house to play during the storm 2 Number of flashlights taken out of the closet and replenished with fresh batteries 4 Number of flashlights that have become play toys during the past two days 2 fl Percentage probability that I will take down my hurricane shutters before Hurricane Gert passes by 0 If possible, grill perishable meats instead of leaving them to go bad. They will stay edible longer than raw meats. When power returns, you can safely refreeze foods that still are half frozen. Safe at room temperature for a few days: fresh fruits and vegetables; opened jars of salad dressing, peanut butter, jelly, pickled products, barbecue or taco sauces, ketchup, mustard and olives; fruit juices; hard or processed cheeses; and butter or margarine. Unsafe if above 40 degrees for more than two hours: fruit pies; raw or uncooked meat, poultry or seafood; milk, cream, yogurt and soft cheeses; cooked pasta; custard, chiffon or cheese pies; eggs and egg substitutes; meat-topped pizza; lunch meats; casseroles; soups; mayonnaise and tartar sauce; refrigerator cookie dough; and cream-filled pastries. B Unsafe: frozen fish or shellfish that have no ice crystals; partly melted ice cream; food that has come in contact with flood water; and bulging, leaking or severely dented cans. B Heed warnings, even if you think danger is over. B Don't call utilities to report power failures. B Don't call police unless there's a life-threatening situation downed power lines, broken gas or water mains, overturned gas tanks, etc. B Leave most lights turned off and any unnecessary electrical equipment unplugged. If the power fails, you don't want to cause a surge later. What to eat If the power's out: B If In doubt, throw ft out. Being a little hungry is a lot better than being sick. Food that smells fine may still contain bacteria, and it takes only a tiny amount to make you very sick. Diarrhea depletes fluids you can't easily replace when drinking water is at a premium. B Eat and drink perishables first. B Keep the refrigerator closed. Every time you open it, you waste valuable cold air. B Don't grill indoors. You can spill the fuel, be overcome by fumes or start a fire. fl It's OK to grill or barbecue outside. lit and around your home Watch for insects and snakes driven out by high water. Assume all downed power lines are live. Some .may be obscured by water. Puddles may conceal dangerous debris or contain sewage or chemicals. The toilet might back up as water rises. If ' necessary, use water from the bathtub to flush the toilet. Pour bleach into the bowl after each use. Don't use electrical appliances until they're dry. Don't stand in water when operating switches or plugging and unplugging cords. B When resetting circuit breakers, wear dry, rubber-soled shoes and stand on something dry and nonconductive. Use only one hand, and reset breakers with a dry wooden tool. Do not make contact with metal breaker box. B If water remains in your house, try to rent or borrow a pump or bail by hand. Then shovel out ; mud, sand or silt. Take soaked rugs and carpets j outside to dry (you'll still probably have to throw ! them away) and disinfect floors. ! B Hose off wet upholstered furniture to remove ; dirt. Remove drawers and let them dry, but do not put wet wood furniture in the sun; it might warp. B If plaster or plasterboard walls are wet, do not 1 rub them. Let them dry, brush off dirt and wash ; walls with a mild soap solution. ; B Wipe Iron and steel furniture with a I kerosene-soaked cloth to ward off rust. ! fl Don't throw out damaged papers or art; ; professionals might be able to restore them. ; B Soaked books also can be saved. Dry in an - upright position with the pages spread open. Then ! difet with cornstarch and stack to prevent wrinkled ; pages. ; B , Whom do I call? In most cases, neighborhood flooding is the responsibility of neighborhood I associations, local governments or drainage ; districts. i Driving in flooded areas 1 B Do not drive unless necessary. If you must drive, ' use extreme caution. I B Don't start your car if the water has risen to a level ; where it contacts your car's engine. Wait until the ; water subsides, then have a mechanic inspect your ' car. I B ff you must drive through an area with high water, ! move forward slowly. Once you are out of the water, ; depress the brake and accelerator at the same time, 1 while driving slowly, to help dry out your brakes. ! B " High winds may litter roadways with glass, sharp ! plastic or tree limbs. ! B . Many traffic lights will not work if power is lost If ; you come across an intersection without a working ; traffic light, treat the intersection as a four-way stop ' and proceed with extreme caution. ! Source: AAA Auto Club South PET SHELTERS Animal Rescue League of the Palm Beaches, 3200 N. Military Trail, West Palm Beach. (561)686-3663 VCA by the Lake Animal Hospital, 2725 Australian Ave., West Palm Beach. (561) 655-5929 Animal House, 3530 Lantana Road, Lantana. (561) 439-2246 Boca Animal Hospital, (561) 997-8540 Lantana-Atlantls Animal Hospital, 3530 Lantana Road, Lantana. (561) 439-0694 Simmons Vet Clinic, 4975 Lake Worth Road, Lake Worth, (561) 439-3220 County numbers PALM BEACH: (561) 712-6400 MARTIN: (561) 287-1652 ST. LUCIE: (561)461-5201 OKEECHOBEE: (941) 763-3212 Red Cross chapters PALM BEACH: (561) 833-7711 MARTIN: (561) 287-2002 ST. LUCIE: (561) 461-3950 OKEECHOBEE: (941)763-2488 Florida Emergency Information Line: (800) 342-3557 Is your flood damage covered? If you have only regular homeowner insurance, your home isn't covered for flood damage and it's too late to buy a policy against Hurricane Floyd. Regular homeowner insurance covers damage by rain, including water that comes through the roof or a broken window. Rood insurance, offered by the National Rood Insurance Program, covers damage caused by tidal and inland water surges, so-called rising waters. The average policy costs about $300 a year for about $100,000 in coverage, and there is a 30-day waiting period before a new policy takes effect. The Federal Emergency Management Agency runs the National Flood Insurance Program. State helpline: (800) 342-2762. Industry help: (800) 331-9146 New York; (202) 833-1580 Washington, D.C.; (212) 553-5213 Pager. Immediately report to your insurance company. Take 'after' photos and video. Keep receipts for all post-storm expenses. If you must leave your home, secure it and paint your address and telephone number on a piece of wood or the side of your home. Don't paint your insurance policy number. Ask the adjuster for Identification. - A INTERNET UPDATES For the most recent radar and satellite images, stories, photo galleries, beach cams and coordinates, log on to Let us know how your family endured Floyd and report damage in your neighborhood by logging on to and joining the discussion. Access local updates at fl Get Broward and Miami-Dade county updates at SoFIa: "7'' !

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