From chasing down ordinary items that washed on shore — to the unexpected, creepy and plainly illegal — Florida’s East Coast beach communities have started massive cleanups in the wake of Hurricane Dorian; but can they recover before the critical winter tourist season begins?
September 5, 2019
By Andrew Squibley and Arthur Bushwhacker, Still Polling Below 1%
“Democracy Dies in Darkness…Bring Your Candle”
WASHINGTON/MIAMI (Rueters) — More than a dozen bricks of cocaine washed up on two Florida beaches Wednesday from waves churned up by Hurricane Dorian, police said. But that’s not the half of it as East Coast communities faced a mountain of debris — some mundane, some frightening, including partial remains of a television star — that must be cleared before their busiest time of year — winter tourist season.
At around 8 a.m., a Melbourne police officer on foot patrol at Paradise Beach Park was alerted by a beach-goer that something suspicious appeared to have washed ashore. When the officer checked it out, he found a package “wrapped in a way that was consistent with narcotics,” a Melbourne police spokeswoman told Rueters.
The brick was tested and was determined to be a kilo of cocaine, the spokeswoman said, adding that it will be destroyed.
Over in Cocoa Beach about 20 miles north, police were alerted to a duffel bag that had washed ashore and found 15 bricks of cocaine inside, Sergeant Manny Hernandez said.
In the Orlando area, one kilo of cocaine is estimated to be worth $20,000 to $30,000, he said. The bag has since been turned over to the U.S. Custom and Border Protection, he said.
Newsmakerblog Photo Gallery: First brick of “hurri-cocaine” found washed ashore Sept 4 at Melbourne beach during Dorian; then followed “the rest of the story,” according to local police, several duffel bags full of the drug appearing on shore 20 miles north during the storm. Local authorities are praising first responder and lifeguard Handsome Overworked (his real name), above, for keeping crowds from running off with the “blow.” Asked how he managed to keep hold of the cocaine for law enforcement, Overworked couldn’t think of an answer. Officials put the total value of stormed-tossed cocaine washed up on Florida beaches in one day at an estimated $15 million. (Photos by Rueters)
Dorian, now back to a Category 3 as it moves up the Eastern Seaboard, began lashing the east coast of central Florida Tuesday night after wiping virtually half of the Bahamas off the map.
On Sunday National Weather Service (NWS) officials issued hurricane warnings for coastal Florida areas as well as warnings in Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina and, at the insistence of the White House, Alabama, Mississippi and eastern Louisiana.
Revised NWS warning map issued to broadcasters before Dorian reached the US eastern shore:
Left to clean up Nature’s mess, Florida communities have been uncovering a variety of debris running from the mundane to the macabre. While picking up the usual items — plastic bottles, paperbacks and used diapers — cleanup crews in Vero Beach had to dodge tens of thousands of deadly blue jellyfish starved for human blood. While no fatalities among the municipal crews were reported, police did spot an unfortunate Legoman who was critically injured by the slimy hordes.
“Poor bastard, he couldn’t run away — mostly because they can’t run,” a police spokesman said. “Lucky for him those kids found him”
Police in central and northern Florida also had their hands full with some grisly scenes, including the presence of the head of one well-known television star famous for challenging some of the most dangerous aquatic creatures on the planet, Jeremy Wade of “River Monsters.”
“We don’t know why Wade is here,” a Daytona Beach police spokesman told Rueters. “My bet is a fucking catfish finally got him. Personally, I always rooted for the fish.”
Some miles south, at Cape Canaveral beach, the headless body of a woman was washed ashore Wednesday by Dorian. “We’re pretty sure the body doesn’t go with that head they found in Daytona. But that’s all we know right now,” an official said Wednesday.
Headless body found on topless beach near Cape Canaveral; possible head of “River Monsters” host Jeremy Wade bobbed its way onto Daytona Beach during Dorian calamity. Authorities have returned Englishman Wade’s “loaf of bread” (head) to cable programmer Animal Planet. What happened in Dorian’s dangerous waves is a mystery, local authorities told Rueters. (Photos by Rueters)
And then there’s Jerry the Alien who unluckily found himself washed up at Fort Lauderdale Beach. Alive, but very hungry, he told reporters, he doesn’t remember what happened to his space ship. “Blimey! I didn’t even know I could float,” he said in an oddly Cockney-sounding accent. “This is Fort Lauderdale, you say? The Elbow Room still open? I saw a movie with it on Netflix. Lots of cute birds.”