On Saturday, September 9, 2017, Little Torch Key took a direct hit by Irme, a Category 4 hurricane. Parmer's Resort took the flood and the winds in stride and when the wind and water subsided on Sunday, we were still standing. Some of our neighbors were not so lucky as tornadoes were touching down throughout the storm. The cleanup is going full force now and the entire region is perking up. The Keys are officially open. Parmer's is officially open although we are limited in some services. Our phones, television and internet are still not connected (Hello Comcast, where are you?). We have water, power and thirteen rooms ready so far. Our guests right now are all neighbors who can't stay in their own homes but they are making great strides like us in getting back to normal. We expect to bring more rooms back on-line every week. We have lost some docks but many are fine. We know some avid fishermen are itching to get back on the water. Our resident pontoon boat ended up in a neighbor's yard down the canal but we have another coming up to check out the lagoons and channels. We have gotten some rain over the last week and you can't believe how fast our brown trees are turning green!
Monday, October 9, 2017, Happy Columbus Day!
We have had an extremely busy and productive week. We started taking in our first guests on Sunday, the 1st, and have been able to welcome many others this week as soon as we get a room available. Everyone staying at Parmer's right now are those that can not go back to their houses. We have people that were staying at the Sugarloaf School Shelter, in tents, in their cars, at friends or just now returning to see what they have left. Some of the stories are heart breaking, some are very hopeful and some are just riveting. Amazing stories of riding out the storm, the adventures while evacuating and the strange discoveries in everyone's yards and houses have kept us captivated.
As of today, we have 24 rooms up and running. For those that are wondering about their specific room, we have Flamingo, Marlin, Kingfish, Wahoo, Pompano, Tuna, Pelican, Tern, Lily, Ixora, Mackeral, Trout, Eagle, Grunt, Hawk, Yellowtail, Jewfish, Mullet, Rose, Gull, Grouper, Osprey, Lobster and Stonecrab. Still no internet and phones or television. Comcast moved our date from October 4 to October 18. We do have a date of October 12 to get internet from AT&T and hope that they can keep it. We have had an initial assessment of our wireless internet antennas. We have lost four altogether and can check the status of the remaining antennas once the internet is restored. Strangely, once in a while some rooms get tv service that comes and goes. For a little normalcy, we went to Boondocks for dinner the other night and it was like the storm never happened. Great food, great music and the place looks wonderful.
Our plan for the week: mow the lawn (it is getting really high), keep working on the rooms, work on the pool, and just keep working. If you call us and get the answering machine, please be patient, we are working off of one phone line on a cell phone. We do have the desk staffed from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. We are trying to respond to emails and Facebook messages as soon as possible but again are relying upon on cellphone mobile hotspot for internet. The property looks really good compared to just a week ago but be prepared coming through the Keys. Hurricane debris is piled on the sides of every street and highway. Refrigerator mountains, boats and trailers lined up, trees and brush are getting hauled away but there is still quite a bit to go.
Sunday, October 1, 2017
Sunday, September 24, 2017
UPDATED SEPTEMBER 16: Parmer's Resort is currently closed due to Hurricane Irma. We sustained a direct hit and had not been allowed to enter the Keys. As much of Florida was impacted by the storm, we have been criss-crossing the state trying to stay ahead of the storm and then in search of power and internet to find out what happened at home and keep you updated. I am sorry we have not been able to keep this page as current as we hoped. We seem to be able to post more reliably to our facebook page, Facebook.com/ParmersResort.
THE WEEK AFTER THE STORM: Two of our staff stayed at the resort through the whole storm and the following week. There was no communication as many utility lines were down, including cell towers. For a few days after the storm US1 was impassible with washouts, debris and downed power lines. Rumors were flying. We finally saw aerial photos of Little Torch Key that showed Parmer's still standing, a little bruised but pretty good considering she took a direct hit from a Category 4! On Wednesday, we were able to obtain a police escort through the checkpoints to get to the Lower Keys that were still closed. With the Lower Keys opening to residents tomorrow, I came back up to Homestead (for supplies and internet).
WHAT WE FOUND: Yes, it is pretty bad down there. Our beautiful islands have taken a wallop. But not as bad as we had heard or expected. First off, utilities. Power is being restored with Key West and the Upper Keys mostly energized. The Main line is fully completed and they have been working on secondary streets. I heard up to Sugarloaf was completed tonight. We saw crews all over Sugarloaf, Summerland and Big Pine today. There are still poles down on Little Torch and Big Pine Key but they have accomplished so much in such a short space of time (less than a week), that part should not take much longer. Water is on down to Marathon and in Key West up to Big Coppitt and some parts of Big Pine. Crews are trying to isolate the trouble spots to get water to as many as possible as fast as possible. Key West has internet and television but I have no information on how far up this has been completed. AT&T has portable cell towers that are placed up and down US1. Sprint service is more spotty and seems to turn off at night. Frankly, we have never had such great cell service as yesterday. Cellular Internet is less reliable but getting better, mostly on AT&T.
Secondly, our islands. We have lost a lot of trees, either the whole tree or just the leaves. A little bit of rain will get them to green up again but we can see neighbors we never knew were there. Waterways are dangerous. I did see a few boats out but there is a lot of debris in the water with some under the surface. A lot of channel markers were lost and many boats were tossed up on shore. We do have every branch of law enforcement in the Keys helping out and that includes clearing the waterways. These are as important to us as the roads and are marked as a priority. The Key Deer are fine. Our little doe that has made Barry Avenue her home for the last few months was walking down the street the other morning. And I saw many others out and about on Big Pine Key. Lots of birds, lizards, a rabbit and yes, iguanas. Even saw some tarpon jumping. And no mosquitos!
Thirdly, Parmer's. Initial assessment, we have 15 rooms with no damage. The remaining 29 rooms have either some roof damage from minor to major, some flooding again minor to major, a combination of both or something else (Hogfish lost its stairs). The staff that stayed has been clearing debris, repairing power connections on the property, cleaning and getting us ready to open again. Our staff that evacuated to Homestead with be returning with me tomorrow with the others not far behind. As soon as we get power and water restored, we would love to welcome you back. Right now, we will cancel all reservations through October 15th. If we are on-line before then, and the powers that be have opened the Keys to tourists, we will let you all know! When we get back, we can unpack our server, get set up and try to catch up on the paperwork. We know we have a lot of deposits to refund and will work through the week to get that accomplished. We will try to keep this statement updated as often as possible. If you have any questions, our phones have been forwarded to an AT&T cellphone, just call our main number 305-872-2157 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
We are okay and getting better everyday!
Our office is open from 7 a.m. until 8 p.m. every day. For check-ins after 8 p.m., please contact us directly for late arrival procedures. We do have staff on-site for after hours emergencies.
We value your privacy and so have eliminated room phones and daily housekeeping is by request only at a small additional charge. Of course, fresh linens, coffee and room amenitities are always available through the office. More Here