Well, we made it through Hurricane Irma relatively unscathed in comparison to some of our neighbors. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my thanks to all the residents of our great city who came out and volunteered at the various relief efforts held in and around the city, whether it was the water and ice giveaways at McTyre Park, the free meals donated by the Florida Panthers in Lake Forest, or State Representative Jones’ hot breakfast served at Mary Saunders Park and the Bravo Supermarket parking lot in Lake Forest. I would like to say a special thank you to the owners of the new Bravo Supermarket for making the location as comfortable as possible. I know there were several of us that had to withstand the loss of power for a week or more, and I thank you for your patience and understanding in realizing it was not a city issue, but an FPL issue. City staff did the best they could and in many cases went above and beyond to help our residents.
On a personal note, I would truly like to thank the gentlemen from Pike Electric, Drew DeLoach, Caleb Hall, Brett McFarland, Lawrence Adams and James Jones all from Northern Florida and Georgia, who came to my house while working on a neighbor’s to re-establish the line that pulled from my house and the utility pole in the backyard. After 6 days, they were a welcome sight. I know there was a lot of frustration throughout the community regarding FPL’s slow response, and we as a Commission are looking into the reasons behind it, as well as why some areas of the City only lost power for hours while others lost it for days or weeks. It has been a long time since we saw a storm of this magnitude come through, and all in all our Staff and residents handled it with ease and grace.
Our staff members worked around the clock in many instances and left their own families to ensure that our residents were taken care of. Mayor Jones and State Representative Shevrin Jones also deserve a note of thanks as they were dealing with the loss of their son and brother Kaneil, all the while tending to those in need in the community. It truly was a selfless act to see.