“It’s as if Ocean Reef didn’t put her make-up on” - Katie Uhl, Communications, description of ORC as she entered the front gate for the first time POST IRMA.
It's day eight since the storm, and in a strange sort of way things are starting to return to normal. ORC Associates are filtering back in, setting up temporary shop, complete with power and internet in the Membership Office, They are fielding calls from members, having conference call meetings with the Board of Directors, and most importantly reuniting with their fellow associates, many who are still dealing with IRMA’s effects; consumed with issues related to their homes and the still fresh emotional effects of the prolonged evacuation.
As they greeted each other at their first lunchtime back, I witnessed hugs and tears, smiles and laughter.
Looking back to the time before evacuation, for Katie, the severity of the situation sank in, as she posted a daily update on the ORC member’s webpage.
September 8th, HURRICANE UPDATE 4: “We are all so very concerned about our beloved Ocean Reef Club so we want to provide a detailed update regarding our view of what will likely happen… at this point a number of the hurricane models show landfall directly over Ocean Reef. We want to be straightforward on this, should this occur, we will be facing enormous and perhaps catastrophic damage to the club and community”
Katie was not the only one with tears in her eyes as she exited the front gate, not knowing what would be left upon her eventual return. It was also the members, associates, and the business men and women, whose lives make up the fabric of Ocean Reef. Before everyone left, the Club made sure each associate had enough funds to make it though, by issuing their paycheck a week in advance of the bi-weekly pay schedule. Though things were uncertain, ORC did not want their employees to suffer due to lack of work.
The following photo journal depicts where we are now, taken Sept. 14th through Sept. 17th. As I write this journal, 85% of the power has been restored to Ocean Reef. We are still on a boil water notice. We are still incredibly grateful. And we will be stronger for it.
This photographic website provides me the opportunity for self-expression, for sharing