LAKE WORTH — City officials are thankful Lake Worth avoided what could have been a catastrophic storm.
So, here’s how Lake Worth plans to return to business as usual after Hurricane Matthew.
Disaster teams fan out across the city making assessments to determine safety of structures and facilities;
Public Services continues to clear roadways to ensure safe passage.
Public Services clears storm drains of any debris so that water may enter drainage systems.
Electric crews inspect power lines and are clearing issues they encounter.
Lake Worth Pier remains closed due to high tides and waves.
Lake Worth Beach remains closed due to high tides, waves, and rip currents.
Lake Worth Beach and Casino businesses, restaurants and parking are open.
Lake Worth Golf Course remains closed – restaurant is open.
City offices remain closed
Library is closed.
Refuse Division will make rounds to pick-up storm related vegetation only left curb-side. Landscape trimmings cut today will not be picked up. Household items, building items and bulk items left by the curb or mixed with the vegetation will be subject to fines. Normal scheduled collection of these items will begin on Monday.
This morning workers are cleaning up roadway debris. Bornstein said several trees were blown over and there are palm fronds and limbs scattered around.
The city said it will pick up on storm-related vegetation debris on Saturday. Plywood, fences, roof materials, construction related debris won’t be picked up, with the city urging residents not to mix those items with vegetation debris.
LAKE WORTH — Downtown Lake Worth is looking no worse for wear after Hurricane Matthew.
No flooding. All traffic signals working. No apparent damages to local businesses, most of which boarded up.
There are a few small tree branches on Lake and Lucerne Avenues and one downed tree next to the City Hall Annex, but, after a quick survey of the area, downtown — like the rest of Palm Beach County — dodged a serious bullet.
The storm shelter at Forest Hill High School is now only accepting people who are walking in or being dropped off at the shelter.
People with vehicles are being redirected to the next closest shelter, John I. Leonard High School at 4701 10th Ave. N. in Greenacres.
By 4:08 p.m., 958 Hurricane Matthew evacuees had chosen to shelter at Forest Hill High School. And more were trudging through squally wind and rain to take refuge there. A single nurse was managing the health care needs of those at the shelter, but others – volunteers – were pitching in to help her.
A British television crew filmed as people spread out on blankets amid bags of food, medicine and other emergency supplies. A 6-day old baby slept next to his mother.
One cafeteria was designed as a family area. The room was split between a row of tables, where people sat to watch ESPN and Hurricane Matthew updates, and a sleeping area where families tried to get some rest. Another set of tables, tipped on their sides, acted as a barrier.
“A shelter is not the comfort of home,” said Robert Balodano, a spokesman for the American Red Cross, which is managing the shelter. “It’s life and safety we’re focused on.”
As the British crew filmed, 61-year old Norma Jean Gloyd looked on. Unable to pay for the home she shared with her husband before his death a year ago, she had been living in a hotel in Lake Worth for the past 8 months.
Gloyd said she thought the high school would be a safer place to ride out Hurricane Matthew.
“I feel safe,” she said. “It’s a concrete building.”
Gloyd, who arrived at Forest Hill High with her daughter and her two granddaughters, praised the law enforcement and Red Cross employees who staffed the shelter.
“This is a good place,” she said. “They’ve treated us well, given us food.”
And yet worries about the hurricane persists.
“I am afraid of the storm,” she said. “I know God is with us. I know we have to have a positive attitude and believe everything will be fine.”
Lake Worth’s Guatemalan-Maya Center may have shuttered for the storm Wednesday afternoon, but the social service agency is still aiding the local immigrant population. Help is just a phone call away, says a center representative.
“Keep yourself informed,” is Tim Gamwell’s message. He’s the center’s assistant executive director. “We have a hotline, where people can receive more information.”
That hotline number: 561-633-2052
Gamwell says the center’s staff will still be working throughout Hurricane Matthew, either from home or shelters around South Florida. The hotline is the fastest way to reach them. Services via telephone will be provided in English, Spanish and several Mayan languages such as Mam and Q’anjobalan.
The Guatemalan-Maya Center is a nonprofit agency in Palm Beach County which provides services to indigenous communities, such as running after school programs for immigrant children, helping with cases of domestic abuse, offering legal aid and translations of government documents. However, their services are not limited to Mayan communities.
Huracán Mathew: Centro de Guatemala Maya en Lake Worth cerrado.
Julio Poletti/ Reportero del Palm Beach Post
Al ver que el huracán Matthew se aproxima a Florida, según indican las últimas actualizaciones del Servicio Meteorológico Nacional, El Centro Maya de Guatemala en Lake Worth ha decidido cerrar sus instalaciones desde ayer por la tarde, aunque todavía están brindando ayuda de forma remota.
Tim Gamwell, el asistente del director ejecutivo de esta fundación sin fines de lucro, informa que todos deben mantenerse informados durante el huracán, y pueden hacerlo comunicándose con la línea telefónica de asistencia de El Centro Maya de Guatemala:
Gamwell indica que sus empleados seguirán trabajando a lo largo del huracán Matthew, ya sea desde sus hogares o desde refugios y proveerán asistencia a través de esta línea telefónica en Inglés, español y varios idiomas mayas, como Mam y Q’anjobalan.
El Centro Maya de Guatemala es una agencia sin fines de lucro en el condado de Palm Beach que ofrece varios servicios a comunidades indígenas, tales como el manejo de casos de abuso doméstico, asistencia legal y traducciones de documentos del gobierno. Sin embargo, sus servicios no se limitan únicamente a las comunidades mayas.