For most in South Florida, Hurricane Irma will be remembered as a dodged bullet.
A storm that devastated other parts of the world and state managed to miss us on the mainland.
But for select pockets of people, Irma is the worst hurricane they’ve ever experienced.
One of those unlucky few is Mark Weiss.
Weiss is a Miami native who is no stranger to hurricanes.
A dentist, he lives on the inter-coastal waterway in the Keystone Point neighborhood of North Miami.
During Irma, he and his family evacuated about 20 minutes north to Davie, FL where they rode out the storm at his sister’s house.
When he finally was able to get home a few days after Irma hit Florida, Weiss was shocked by what he found.
The seawall that protects his home from eroding away into the water was completely destroyed. His dock was destroyed and a large piece of concrete-painted like a basketball court, had buckled up into the air.
“It looks like someone dropped a bomb on my backyard,” a still stunned Weiss told RISE NEWS, a little over an hour after returning home. “I expected to lose the dock, but I did not expect this.”
His boat was still secured the way he had left and it had no damage.
But the destroyed seawall was what had his attention.
“This is the pice you pay for living here”, Weiss said. “We plan and God laughs and see’s how resilient we are.
Weiss said that the seawall is not covered by his insurance because it is technically not on his property.
He estimates that to rebuild the seawall, it will cost him around $100,000.
And if he doesn’t rebuild the seawall then the house would be in danger of eroding into the water.
In terms of personal cost, Irma will be the worst hurricane his family has ever faced.
A few blocks away from Weiss in the same area of Keystone Point, Edwin Birotte surveyed the damage to his property.
He and his wife Maria stayed at their home during Irma.
They regret staying.
“If I had a second opportunity, I would leave,” Birotte said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if a few tornadoes came through here just because of the amount of damage.”
One of the more common damaged pieces of property in South Florida were wooden fences.
But Birotte’s fence damage was to an extreme level.
At over 100 feet long and six feet high, his fence was totally leveled in the storm.
Birotte was born in New Jersey and spent many years in Queens so Irma was a very strange experience.
“It’s fear for your life for about 20 hours in a row,” Birotte said. “Every 15 minutes or so, we ran to the bathroom to hide during the tornado warnings.”
He expects his insurance to cover the cost of the fence.
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