It has been just over a month since Hurricane Irma worked its way across the Atlantic and made landfall in The Sunshine State. While it was very touch and go for awhile, our team here at Treasure Bay Resort and Marina is happy to report that we are all safe and sound and operating business as usual. Given media coverage and general expectations following a hurricane, this could come as a surprise to some – especially given the ferocity of Hurricane Irma elsewhere in the state and region.
Hurricane Irma was the strongest hurricane we’ve seen in the Atlantic since 2005
In regard to maximum sustained winds, Irma was the strongest hurricane we’ve seen in the Atlantic since 2005’s Hurricane Wilma and the most intense to strike the U.S. since Katrina hit New Orleans and the surrounding area. Forming off the coast of West Africa at the end of August, Irma continuously gained power and velocity over the next few days before reaching its apex Category 5 status on September 6th. Following the 6th, the storm hit Cuba as a Category 3, intensified to a Category 4 between Cuba and Florida, and slowly diminished before dissolving completely in the North Atlantic on September 16th.
In the grand scheme of things, our little corner of Florida got very lucky. Initial estimates figure that 25% of buildings in the Florida Keys were destroyed, 65% were significantly damaged, and 90% of homes sustained some damage. As Irma moved onward, 4.4 million homes and businesses were without power and many cell phone towers were also nonfunctioning. Most horrifically, at least 134 fatalities across the Caribbean and United States have been attributed to Hurricane Irma.
Here at Treasure Bay Resort and Marina, we couldn’t be more grateful.
Our hotel and infrastructure fared incredibly well. We didn’t lose power for a single minute while more than half of our county went without power for up to a week following the storm. As such, we knew we had to do what we could to help. Until our friends and neighbors could get their feet back on the ground, Treasure Bay was happy to serve as a temporary home for many locals and their pets. It was a rare pleasantry in weeks marked by anxiety to interact with some of the folks that truly make this place paradise, and it was our pleasure to help in their time of need.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to everyone that has been affected by Hurricane Irma’s trail of destruction. As we continue to get back on track in Treasure Island, our hearts ache with those that have a much longer path of recovery ahead of them. Whether mourning lost friends and family or rebuilding homes and businesses, it is not an easy task. As has always been the case, however, we know that the resilient people of Florida will find a way. It won’t be long before everything settles back down, and we are all back enjoying all of the beauty and magic that The Sunshine State has to offer.