Time to eval­u­ate

Res­i­dents, weigh in on Irma re­sponse

Palm Beach Daily News - - OPINION -

Although the is­land was spared the cat­a­strophic brunt of Hurricane Irma, the storm cer­tainly left a mess. Res­i­dents have be­gun eval­u­at­ing the town’s re­sponse. There have been mostly thumbs up and some thumbs down.

Cur­fews and po­lice check­points at the three bridges were es­tab­lished un­til the ma­jor­ity of res­i­dents had power re­stored. But it was an in­con­ve­nience to many with­out Palm Beach driver li­censes or town-is­sued ID cards, who were turned away. A lawyer from West Palm Beach, who was not al­lowed to en­ter three days af­ter the storm, has hired an at­tor­ney to in­ves­ti­gate whether the town could be sued for clos­ing it to out­siders. But phased-in re-en­try on to the is­land made sense, per­mit­ting only emer­gency work­ers at first.

Did the check­points work? For a law en­force­ment stand­point, it seems so. It took sev­eral days for most cus­tomers to have elec­tric­ity re­stored, and it was patchy. Of­fi­cers did tar­geted pa­trolling near no-power ar­eas.

Res­i­dents, of course, would like FPL, Com­cast and AT&T ser­vices re­stored more quickly. But it re­mains to be seen if they were happy with the re­turn process. Or, if there’s fall­out from the week­long check­points.

Town staff is so­lic­it­ing res­i­dents’ opin­ions to im­prove its re­sponse. Weigh in at storm@townof­palm­beach.com.

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