Roof lost at Keys charter high school but city largely ‘spared’

Homestead officials have confirmed that Keys Gate Charter High School has lost its roof (pic below).

“It completely peeled off,” said Zackery Good, Homestead’s spokesman. It is unclear when the school will be operable.

Homestead Detective Fernando Morales said that while the city had “a few burglaries and some sporadic looting, but it was nothing out of this world.”

Morales could not specify which businesses were hit and when, but did say one of them was a pawn shop.

Homestead’s new $26 million city hall and $18 million police withstood the test.

Both structures, built with Hurricane Andrew in mind to withstand Category 5 hurricane winds, survived Irma with only minor water leaks, officials said Monday.

“We had some minor water intrusion on one of the doors at city hall and a roof leak at the police station,” said Good.

“But the buildings survived. We found a few vulnerabilities that we can address for the future and it was a good learning experience,” he added.

City hall housed about 250 city workers and their families through the storm. They all hunkered down as fears of Andrew-like aftermath flooded the chambers.

“Homestead was spared,” Good said. “Lots of trees down and down power lights.”

In 1992, Andrew wiped away thousands of structures, leaving local leaders without a place to hold order — which decades later led to the rebuilding of a multi-million dollar city hall and a towering police station.

“Obviously the experience Homestead had 25 years ago was real and it was something that made people understand the need for keeping government intact under catastrophic circumstances,” said George Gretsas, Homestead city manager.

Late Monday morning, zbout 90 percent of the city is still without power — and improvement over total darkness that occurred during the storm. Officials are trying to get power restored first at Homestead Hospital, nursing home and elderly care facilities, and police stations opened as quickly as possible.

Road entrances to and from the highway are open. Southeast 8th Street from US1 to SE 12th Avenue is completely flooded, Morales said, and is blocked.

Good said early Saturday that most mobile parks in the Homestead area have been spared.

“We got really lucky,” he said.

Betty Alexander, who waited out the storm in the Goldcoaster mobile home park near Florida City said her home “is a champ” and that the park experienced minimal damage.

Homestead’s new $26 million city hall and $18 million police withstood the test.

Both structures, built with Hurricane Andrew in mind to withstand Category 5 hurricane winds, survived Irma with only minor water leaks, officials said Monday.

“We had some minor water intrusion on one of the doors at city hall and a roof leak at the police station,” said Zackery Good, Homestead’s spokesman.

“But the buildings survived. We found a few vulnerabilities that we can address for the future and it was a good learning experience,” he added.

City hall housed about 250 city workers and their families through the storm. They all hunkered down as fears of Andrew-like aftermath flooded the chambers.

“Homestead was spared,” Good said. “Lots of trees down and down power lights.”

In 1992, Andrew wiped away thousands of structures, leaving local leaders without a place to hold order — which decades later led to the rebuilding of a multi-million dollar city hall and a towering police station.

As Homestead prepped for Irma, leaders were worried because the building had never been tested before.

“So we’ll see how this goes,” George Gretsas, Homestead city manager, had said right before Irma approached Florida’s mainland.

“Obviously the experience Homestead had 25 years ago was real and it was something that made people understand the need for keeping government intact under catastrophic circumstances.”