Friday, September 10, 2004

More Preparations

Butterfly 5
Originally uploaded by kwshoes.

We drove out to Stock Island this afternoon to feed Sharon's cat, stopping on the way at Home Depot to pick up some tarps that we'll use to cover things up here before we leave. I cleared some things off of Sharon's rear deck, including her gas grill while Janet fed Crimpy and cleaned the litterbox. On the way back, we drove along the beaches, then went downtown looking for a cup of coffee, and to see what Duval Street looked like. The town is virtually empty and most business and many, many homes are boarded up. We took some pictures of the Butterfly Conservatory and put them on our photo site. One is here, and there are a couple more at the photo site.

The impact of the three storms -- Charley, Frances, and now Ivan -- over the last four weeks on the economy here is already bad and likely to get much worse. Businesses have already lost so much income that meeting payrolls and mortgage payments are likely to be impossible for many of them. Employees are being sent home and told to wait to be called back. This means that rent payments are likely to be late or not made, resulting in residential mortgage payments likely to be the same. Many workers are leaving town and some of them might not come back at all, or to reach decisions to leave later on in the season.

Lest that sound overly-pessimistic, let me say that the charms of Key West will remain or return, and it will recover from anything short of sinking into the ocean. It may, however, reemerge as something different than it is today. What that may be, I don't know, but we'll be sure to let you know if we see it happening.

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