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Beaches open, bridge checkpoints gone, but some still without power

Posted On: 10-08-2016

By William Kelly

Daily News Staff Writer

Life started getting back to normal on the island Saturday, but some residents were still without power.

Police checkpoints were demobilized Saturday at the bridges leading in and out of town, but new checkpoints were set up at undisclosed locations to protect residents and properties from crime until power is fully restored.

“There is a handful” of checkpoints, Deputy Town Manager Jay Boodheshwar said. “There is still loss of power. We have lot of residents who aren’t here and we have a responsibility to protect those areas until power is up and running.”

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FPL had said it expected power to be fully restored by Sunday.

“The town is crawling with FPL workers and their subcontractors,” Boodheshwar said. “We know they have deployed maximum resources to try to get the town restored.”

In come cases, rear-yard power lines have complicated restoration, so arborists are in town to trim back excessive trees and branches, he said.

Power losses were reported in neighborhoods across town, including Midtown and the Estate section, and there was widespread power failure in the North End north of Wells Road as Hurricane Matthew passed by Thursday evening into Friday morning.

As of Saturday afternoon, Matthew was a Category 1 storm with maximum winds around 75 mph and torrential rains were spreading across the Carolinas.

All public beaches and recreation facilities were re-opened Saturday.

All streets were passable, the town said. But the Lake Trail was blocked in areas because of downed trees and debris. Path visitors are urged to use caution, the town said.

Damage to town property was minor. Public Works crews will remain on the island throughout the weekend, clearing any remaining debris from streets and repairing town-owned street lights and facilities into next week.

Coastal erosion appears to have been minimal, Public Works Director Paul Brazil has said.

Full residential and commercial garbage pickup returned Saturday. Normal recycling schedules begin Monday. All construction projects in the public right of way will resume on Monday.

A Town Council meeting that was scheduled to start at 9:30 a.m. Monday in Town Hall will begin one hour later at 10:30 a.m.

Joyce Vaughn, an Algoma Road resident, said her power was restored around 9 a.m. Friday but she remained without phone, television and internet service at her house until Saturday morning, when Comcast installed a small generator to temporarily power its equipment on her street.

“One police officer said those little generators are all over town,” she said. “FPL has to come back and restore power there.”

Vaughn said she saw six FPL trucks along South Ocean Boulevard on Friday morning. “I guess they came as quickly as they could. I do understand they were overwhelmed, particularly with the North End being out of power.”

She added, “I guess we should count ourselves lucky. Everyone seems to be doing as much as they can.”




Source: William Kelly, October 8, 2016, Palm Beach Daily News

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