Headline: Floyd Blows Florida

Tue, 14 Sep 1999 08:04:18 EDT

(looks like Floyd's gonna give this girl a break!)

Jeepers - mandatory evac of the beaches. I ran them yesterday after work,
wondering how they might be transformed over the next few days. Everyone
busy boarding up and packing - the smart ones, anyway - and beach patrol
taking lifeguard stands and trash cans away. It was already blustery at the
beach, foamy. Traffic lights on First Street already beginning to sway. I
feared I'd become the first casualty of Floyd, a victim of my own hair as it
whipped brutally around my face after my scrunchy blew off.

We are blessed with beautiful beaches here in Jacksonville: mostly
residential - only two or three high-rises - so low density. White, singing
sands - it squeaks when you run. A nice mix of luxury homes and chic beachy
ramshackles run its length. Some-but-not-enough years ago, the city dads and
moms wisely began the effort of dune restoration between the homes and beach.
Every winter, Jacksonvillians donated their spent Christmas trees to the
effort. The trees were laid down to gather sand and eventually sea oats took
root to keep it there. Sadly, the young dunes in Jax are just a few feet
high, not likely to do the job of sand replenishment and wind blocking Nature
intended. There's a stretch of beach just south of here in Ponte Vedra where
original dunes tower 50 feet or so (hey, this is Florida) and dune forests of
scrub oak and palmetto are firmly established on the windward side. Those
beaches are probably impervious to whatever Floyd dishes out.

The rest of us won't fare so well, I fear. If you FoRKsters would, for us,
please light a candle, chant, offer up a bloody sacrifice or whatever it is
you do when you ask something of Neptune.

Battening down,