As the outer bands of Tropical Storm Fay went over South Florida, local stations were having a field day. It had been some time since the area was threaten by storm. WSVN reporter Rene Marsh stood along the shore of some unnamed beach is Islamorada using words like "choppy waters" and "intensifying" to describe the anemic waves crashing on the sand.
Over at WFOR, reporter Gary Nelson downplayed the storm much to dismay of the anchors who quickly reminded him that "the worse was far from over." They cut to National Hurricane Center director Ed Rappaport who played along with the hype of Fay warning of "warm waters" and possible intensification. Meteorologist Jeff Berardelli placed emphasis on "bands" and tornado warning, urging people to move into a closet or bathroom if a tornado approached.
Despite the "warnings" of the TV journalists, I decide to go out anyway. Rain comes and goes, but not enough to deter me from my plans. A friend picks me up around 10:45 p.m. and we head to White Room, located on the fringes of Overtown, where its Monday night party Exposure is having some "official" Tropical Storm Fay party. The gimmick? People who come in a bathing suit or raincoat get a free shot of whatever premixed concoction they come up with.
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When I step foot into the lounge its noticeably empty except for the people who work there. I take a seat at the bar waiting to see who would brave the torrential downpour. A host comes up to me and says, "You think the storm is keeping people away?" I think to myself what kind of question is that. I assure him plenty of people have the day off tomorrow, so there is hope for a sudden surge.
As the night goes on, people trickle in, but when midnight comes around it's still pretty bare. I decide to call it a night and called for a taxi. But after 30 minutes and a sudden downpour, the taxi still hasn't shown up. I get offered a ride but I'm told I might as well stay put because my area doesn't have power. I find it hard to believe that such a meek storm could have knocked out anyone's power and insist on going home anyway.
When I arrive to my street, it's pitch black expect for the distant glow of other areas with power. Great.