The lucky little isle of Key West dodged a direct hit from Hurricane Irma by about 20 – 30 miles. Structural damage was minimal; of no consolation to my neighbor who owns 2 Cents Restaurant, its kitchen destroyed by a falling tree. It is definitely the tree damage in Key West that is so startling, the bareness and brightness hurtful to both mind and eye. I lost my largest shade tree, a frangipani, a heartbreaker. There is chatter around town about the City’s Tree Commission and their strict regulations on tree removal and tree trimming. Some state that much damage is a result of the city’s ordinance which does not allow residents to thin the canopies of large, deciduous trees. I have much to learn before weighing in on this divide, but it is the deciduous trees, the trees that provide the city with glorious shade, that could not withstand Irma’s pounding. Palms can bend, leafy limbs offer resistance and break. I do feel, however, that the city is doing a great job removing the debris. Removal goes on around the clock; put it on the street, they will pick it up. But many, like those who live on Catholic Lane which has yet to be cleared, feel otherwise. A very small sampling below, these piles are everywhere.
Catholic Lane, behind my house. The debris here runs the entire length of the street. There are homes behind this pile.
Shel Silverstein’s home, William Street
Massive rubber tree, Fleming Street