On Sept. 10, Hurricane Irma ripped its way up the Florida peninsula causing some spectacular damage, especially to the Florida Keys and the Gulf Coast of the state. Mobile RVing, a website hosted by Southeast Publications, checked in with two Florida campgrounds in the path of the storm to see how they fared, what they are doing to recover, and how camping in Florida was affected for these areas.
Daniel Hamilton, owner of Boyd’s Key West Campground, and Darla Sinnard, manager at the Bay Bayou RV Resort in Tampa, both consider themselves lucky. Their parks escaped major damage and swiftly returned to business. However, both knew of nearby campgrounds that sustained major damage.
The Florida Keys were under a mandatory evacuation order, and Hamilton said that all visitors and staff at Boyd’s were evacuated before Irma made landfall. “I haven’t heard an actual wind speed estimate for our area, but with the winds coming directly across the water, there was little to slow it down. We had numerous boats that washed up on our shoreline and at our marina, and the winds did more damage to our trees than previous hurricanes we have been through.”
Damage was minimal, Hamilton added, since luckily the property did not flood. “Our primary damage was to trees and landscaping. We also had a number of Wi-Fi towers go down due to the wind as well as some fencing. The few RVs stored at our property survived with a couple losing their roof vent covers that caused some minimal water damage, and one trailer had a coconut tree fall onto it.”
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