Beachfront visitors concerned about Irma
Residents, beachgoers mull options before hurricane hits.
As usual, Midtown Beach early this week attracted a cross section of residents and out-of-towners. They walked pets, strolled the sidewalk along the seawall and jogged under a sky where the full moon could still be seen glowing in the west as the sun rose over the perfectly placid Atlantic Ocean.
But far from usual, those at the beach had something else on their minds — a potentially life-threatening storm named Hurricane Irma.
Town officials ordered a mandatory evacuation of the island on Thursday.
But evacuation is not in the plans for everyone, including Palm Beacher Giselle Parry, who was walking Prince Edward, her Pembroke Welsh corgi. She will most likely stay at her Midtown home because she has little other choice, she said with a note of concerned resignation in her voice.
She tried to book a hotel room on the state’s west coast, she explained, but found none available. She also was worried about having enough gas so that she wouldn’t be caught stranded on the roads.
And she had no luck with airplanes, either. “The flights are all booked,” she said. The storm’s uncertain track only added to the muddle, she said.
“One of my neighbors is in his late 80s, and he has survived three of the storms, and he advised me stay,” she said. “We’re all in this together.”
Ali Safyurflu was taking a walk along the seawall and said he planned to stay at his Midtown home but was sending family members to Washington, D.C. He has hunkered down at home when other storms have threatened since he moved in the 1990s to Palm Beach, where he spends about 10 months of the year.
He had just arrived back in Palm Beach from a trip to Istanbul.
“I knew the hurricane was in the At-