Time to evaluate
Residents, weigh in on Irma response
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 email@example.com.