As Dorian closed in, Labor Day weekend plans were upended. Major airlines began allowing travelers to change their reservations without fees. The big cruise lines began rerouting their ships.
Homeowners and businesses rushed to cover their windows with plywood. Supermarkets ran out of bottled water, and long lines formed at gas stations, with some fuel shortages reported.
But it pays to be prepared and well informed when people can ultimately find themselves in a storm’s projected path for more unpredictable it might turn out to be.
Homeless people can’t prepare for a storm; they have nowhere to go and are living on the streets. They just seem to have to wait until the last minute call to evacuate their whereabouts.
Though there are many shelters in Palm Beach County, getting there is an issue for homeless people, specially for those whose health conditions are denigrated to the utmost.
A Florida Daily Post crew was in Downtown West Palm Beach for our special coverage of Dorian as the storm drew closer to Florida. A woman –her name is not important now– was lying on the ground at a bus stop on the corner of Quadrille and Clematis St. A homeless man was lying on a bench next to her, jabbering in Spanish motionless.
The woman claims she’s been roaming around the streets in downtown for 14 months now. She couldn’t stand on her feet and we tried to help her sit on an empty bench because her body was aching and weak. She smelled bad and was covered with sores that flies were feasting on.
But she’s just a drop in the bucket.
On a day when the streets were desolate, we counted 36 homeless people, either meandering the streets or camping. Along East Clematis St., 9 people (7 men and 2 women); around the corner of Quadrille and Clematis St., 11 people (10 men and a woman); and at Currie Park, 18 people (14 men and 4 women).
According to a woman at Currie Park, a bus would be available to transport homeless to a shelter at 3 pm on Sunday.