2017-09-13 / Community View


The County Press STAFF

Jill Doughtery of Oregon Township hunkered down with her mother last weekend at her high-rise condominium in Miami during Hurricane Irma. Doughtery got through to her daughter, Kaylee, back here in Lapeer County late Sunday to say they were fine and other than a little bit of flooding in the condo’s underground parking garage her mother’s building sustained little damage. “But she said it was wild two days. They saw water spouts on the bay and what looked like a tornado about 10 miles away,” Kayleee shared on social media Monday. “Thanks to friends in Michigan who kept us in their thoughts and prayers.”

Neda Loomis of Lapeer had a similar story from Hurricane Irma’s path last weekend. She too was in Florida with her mother, Elaine, who lives in suburban Tampa. Loomis was in Florida to spend time with her mother following a recent back surgery, and never expected to ride out a hurricane. “Nobody in this area (Tampa) really thought it was going to hit this area, so people really didn’t make a lot of preparations,” she shared with County Press Editor Jeff Hogan. “I was really touched by how many people reached me that knew I was in Florida to make sure I was okay. But even with possible hurricanes, where she lives really is beautiful and I can see why so many people like to retire here.”

Mark Phillips of Imlay City had a different reason last weekend to be in Florida. An insurance adjuster for Progressive, his company sent him to northern Florida early last week as part of a pre-position staging of personnel to be on hand following Hurricane Irma. “I’ve never been to an area hit by a hurricane, so I didn’t know what to expect other than I was told ‘we will be really busy’ for about three straight weeks,” Phillips shared with The County Press on Thursday.

David White of Mayfield Township is a “snowbird” who winters in the Naples area of Florida. A neighbor in his Florida housing community said the only damage caused by Hurricane Irma was to his trailered fishing boat that was toppled onto its side, damaging the outboard motor. “I was more concerned about my house, which other than a few shingles on the roof I guess made it through the storm in good shape,” White told The County Press on Monday. “I got lucky, because from what I hear some places down the road sustained a lot of damage. I always wondered if we’d see a hurricane.”

The last Hurricane Irma tidbit this week was sent to The County Press by Lori Faber of Attica Township. She was in southern Florida for a business conference, and was relocated last Thursday to suburban Atlanta to be well out of the hurricane’s path. “It was quite impressive. Where I was at they allowed only traffic to head north on the highways to get people out of Florida. I had never experienced anything like this, but was actually really impressed at how calm most people were,” she shared in an email to the newspaper on Monday. “If the only thing we have to fear is a little snow during the winter in Michigan I’m completely okay with that,” she commented. “At least you don’t have to fear whether your house was going to be blown away in a hurricane.”

Virginia McDowell of Davison Township called The County Press Sound Off line on Saturday to offer a “thanks” to a man who paid it forward while she was in line at the Kroger store in Lapeer last weekend. “A man wearing a Lapeer Lightning T-shirt paid for my groceries. He said ‘Have a good evening and better tomorrow,’” and paid for my groceries. “Maybe he felt sorry for an old lady, but either way it was really nice,” said McDowell.

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