Hurricane Frances did not hit Florida as hard as it could have, but the path of downed trees, power outages and debris-littered streets it left is still impressive. Even more impressive, though, was the response from the Department of Transportation and power companies, as well as efforts by local law enforcement and emergency units to keep the public safe and get the state up and running again.
The university area has been pretty lucky as far as damages go. USF, aside from some tree damage and flooding restricted to uninhabited areas, did not suffer much from Frances’ aftermath and did not have any power outages.
The surrounding areas, however, home to many off-campus students, widely experienced power outages. By Tuesday, several affected areas had power restored. While some still lack electricity, it needs to be understood what an enormous task officials and power companies are facing. Considering the wet conditions, it is understandable that such repairs have to be undertaken with certain precautions. Given such conditions, the time it takes to deal with the problems is more than timely.
For such repairs and cleanup to be undertaken, it is important that Floridians adhere to curfews and other rules imposed in their region. Citizens of Palm Beach did not adhere to the 24-hour curfew imposed Sunday and went out to shop or simply stretch their legs. This led to problems when municipalities attempted to clear debris off roads.
Since hurricane season does not end until Nov. 30, it is possible Florida will be hit by yet another hurricane. Judging by how fast cleanup is progressing, it seems the Tampa Bay area is ready should such a storm hit again.