port that all of the homes were fine.
Sneath glanced up and down South Ocean Boulevard, where the only car on the road was the occasional police vehicle and where the Worth Avenue Clock Tower’s hands were stopped at 10:30.
“It’s kind of strange to see it so desolate,” Sneath said, who had driven to the beach in his electric-powered replica of a 1960 Italian Jolle beach buggy.
On his drive earlier, Sneath saw two trees that had smashed into cars when they fell during the storm, including a palm tree that had broken the rear window of a Town of Palm Beach car on Peruvian Avenue.
And on North County Road near the Phipps Estate subdivision, he saw that the famous tree canopy that shelters the street had been damaged by the hurricanes, although many of the trees still stood. Workers were clearing the downed limbs, using chainsaws to cut branches into smaller pieces.
At The Episcopal Church of Bethesda-bythe-Sea, a large gumbo limbo tree lay on the ground along Barton Avenue, split near the base of the trunk. Other trees were also damaged, and the grounds were littered with branches and leaves. And down the street, trees could be seen toppled on The Breakers golf course.
And at Memorial Park, workers from the Botanica landscape company were using a mobile crane vehicle to lift and replant a large tree on the west side of the historic fountain. It had fallen onto North County Road but was salvageable, its roots still intact.
Back on Midtown Beach, Chris Edwards was taking a photo and commented how different the ocean looked — a mix of brown and a light milky green.
Edwards works as a bartender at The Colony and had already been to the historic hotel to check out its condition, which appeared to be fine, he said.
“My manager told me to come in on Monday to see how things are doing,” Edwards said. “I came to see if they needed any help.”
Farther south on the coastal road, Izabela Buff and her husband, George Buff IV, were taking a walk to survey the damage. They also spent the storm on the island at their home on Woodbridge Road, immediately north of President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago. All of their neighbors evacuated, but they chose to stay, noting that their home had been rebuilt in a major renovation three years ago.
“I was expecting more flooding,” Izabela said, adding that she was relieved that predicted side effect of the storm never really materialized here.
Her husband said he felt more comfortable hunkering down at home.
“I’d rather say here and fight for what I have rather than fight the masses” trying to evacuate, he said.
South Palm Beach resident and interior designer Katherine Shenaman and her boyfriend, Malte Asmus, were also on a mission. They were checking on the condition of homes belonging to her clients.
The couple had evacuated to a hotel in Orlando Friday but then decided to return to her condominium in Palm Beach once the storm’s track shifted west.
“I’m surprised that so much of everything is caked in sand,” she said, referring to the grounds of her condo on South Ocean Boulevard where the grass looked brown from all the sand that had been deposited on it.
But she understood what had happened, because she had ventured outside Sunday afternoon and experienced the tropical-storm-force winds firsthand.
“We felt like we had gone to the spa — when you walked and the sand hits you, it was like getting a major scrub,” she said.
Near the beach toward Royal Palm Way, Wilson Santiago was packing up to return to his home in West Palm Beach with his dog, Moby. He had sheltered with a friend in the 330 South Building, which faces the ocean.
“This home is safer than my house,” he said.
Still, when tornado watches were declared and the windows shook, he and his friend scrambled to brace them from inside with shutters.
“It was a little scary,” he said. “I’m frazzled.”