Friday Update – Irma Recovery

Power Reset both Buildings

On Friday around 2 pm Steve did a power reset of all units in both buildings in an attempt to make sure that the AC equipment in all units came on line.     Steve did not go into the individual units; the power reset is done from the floor electrical closets.

If you are not in residence at Tiara you might want to have someone check our your unit.   While no exterior damage to the building has been noticed, it is always possible that interior damage has occurred.

TV / Internet

We have heard that AT&T might have restored service.    Comcast is trying to restore service but the TV service has been going off and then on again;  Internet service may be present but it appears to be at a very slow speed.    Comcast TV or Internet service is not working in either party room.    When you think you might have Comcast service you might need to power cycle the settop box and/or the internet modem/router to restore your connection.

Tiara North – Update

As of 5 pm on Thursday 9/14 AC has been restored for the North tower!

Both buildings now have power and AC.     Neither building has Comcast services for TV or Internet.   Latest unofficial estimate is Friday evening, but no guarantees on that estimate.

South pool is cleaned and ready.   Steve will be working on North pool now that power has been restored.

Neither spa is in working order.

Wind-tossed debris has been removed from both parking lots.

The dune walks are fine and there is no "evident" beach erosion; no obvious "step down" on the beach.


Tiara Status – Thursday 9-14 pm

The Best of News!     Power has been restored to the North tower!

The AC is not yet working but the technician is onsite and working to get the AC on.     Hopefully the AC will be back online later this afternoon.  BTW, while the AC is out residents might want to turn on ceiling fans to get the air moving and even purchase some "DampRid", a dehumidifier product that absorbs moisture from the air and can be useful in preventing or delaying the onset of mold, and put a can of it in each room.

Many thanks to the EM staff who have worked so hard over the past few days to get Tiara up and running as well as cleaned up!   Despite their own home situation, and several also were without power, the staff have been working hard to help us.

Craig Merrill has been on site all day Thursday, working with and sometimes even cajoling FPL contractors, to identify the problem with the power at the North tower, get the parts in, and installed and restore power.    Tiara South even shared their AC-cooled party room with the contractors for a lunch break and use of the facilities.

I also want to give a note of appreciation to those residents in the North tower who came back early and stuck it out with the loss of power in their units.      Board members from the South tower talked to many of the "northers" and even knocked on doors to try to reach out with current status to those in the North tower.   Without exception those in the north tower were bearing up well, not exactly cheerfully, but with good spirits and appreciation for the work being done on their behalf to restore power and AC.     What a great bunch of people live here at Tiara!

Landscaping did take a significant hit from the storm.    Palm fronds were everywhere and it looks like we may have lost a palm tree or two (I saw pieces of trunk piled behind the garageports just to the south of the South tower).    All up and down the Island vegetation, bushes, and non-palm trees, are brown and appear dead.    The same is true at Tiara.   I was assured by Craig Merrill that those bushes have dead leaves but in all likelihood the plants themselves may still be getting enough nutrients to come back, putting out new shoots over the next few weeks.   For that reason the landscaping crew, onsite today, is only cleaning up the fallen fronds and dead leaves on the grassy areas and driveways (and removing the dozens of coconuts that fell from the trees).    The plants with dead leaves will NOT be touched or trimmed for at least 3 weeks, in order to give the plants time to recover by themselves.    It's a sad sight, but a temporary one we hope.

Pools - now that the power is back on in the North tower cleanup of the pool at the North tower can be begun.    In the meantime the South pool remains available to all.

No word on Comcast yet but when I hear anything I'll let you know.

One final note.   Several of us in the South tower experienced some water intrusion despite closed shutters and patio doors.    If you're returning to Tiara, either building, be sure to double-check the status of your carpets, area rugs and furniture to see if you too might have had some water intrusion.


Thursday, 9/14

Very Important.    Since the North tower is still without electricity, owners can apply for FEMA assistance if you make the application while the power is out!

Call FEMA at 1-800-621-FEMA.    Tell them you want to apply for assistance because you have no power due to Hurricane IRMA.     While there is no guarantee that you will quality for assistance you may be able to get some assistance with your insurance deductible or even a low interest disaster loan offered by the Small Business Administration (SBA).   The FEMA call will provide all the information you need.

You can apply online at also.

When you apply you should have the following available:

  • Social Security Number
  • Insurance Policy Number
  • Household Income (tho the income level has nothing to do with whether you will receive assistance)
  • Checking Account Number for Direct Deposit

THE IMPORTANT THING is to apply IMMEDIATELY while the power is still out in the North tower.

Hurricane Aftermath – Situation at the North Tower

Wednesday 9/13 6 pm update

The North Tower remains without power this evening.     FPL is dealing with outages throughout Florida as well as those on Hutchinson Island.   Several buildings on the island, not just Tiara North, are without power.   We do know that the South tower is on separate grid and that is why there is power to the South tower and not to the North.

With no power there is no AC, and while the lower floors might have water the upper floors definitely do not have water due to the lack of power to run the water booster pumps.

Without power the filtration to the North pool and spa is also not possible.   This means that the North pool and spa are closed.

Elliott Merrill has been in contact with FPL throughout yesterday and today but this is definitely an FPL problem, one of many here in Florida.     Calls to Elliott Merrill will not rectify the problem.

The diesel generator is running in the North tower but the generator is only powerful enough to run 1 elevator and the emergency lighting.     It does not and cannot satisfy the needs of the entire building.

There is no estimate from FPL when this problem will be resolved.

Residents who are staying in the North tower should evaluate their quality of life and see if there is another temporary solution that they can arrange, perhaps staying with friends in the area or moving to a hotel.      If you decide you must stay you can use the South pool, the South lobby and party rooms if those are some help to you.

As soon as we receive word that the power has been restored to the North tower we will notify you through the Tiara Newsletter and also through the Elliott Merrill website.   You can also check the FPL outages online by going to and clicking on Outages.    If you enter your billing phone number and the zip code (34949) you can get a brief status of the power outage affecting the North tower.

If you are not in residence, please do NOT come down.     Stay where you are until you hear or find out that the power and other services are available in the Tiara North building.

Finally,  Comcast service is not available in either building.    Neither building has TV or Internet or local Comcast phone.     I've heard that AT&T Internet and phone services are also not yet available in the buildings.


Hurricane Aftermath – Wednesday 9-13

Wednesday 1 pm

Not much change since Tuesday.

North Tower - no power yet and no update from FPL as to when power will be restored.    No AC.   One elevator is working on the emergency generator.     AC cannot be evaluated    Comcast is not on therefore no TV and no Internet.

South Tower - power is on and AC is working.    1 elevator is working.    Comcast is not on therefore no TV and no Internet.   Spa is down.  Pool has been cleaned.

The landscaping took some significant hits but that is repairable.    I'm not on site yet so I can't provide any pictures.

We look forward to welcoming everyone back to Tiara as soon as it is safe to be there.



Hurricane Aftermath – Tuesday 9/12

More Info for you

Noon Tuesday - Update from Bill Dicker, who just spoke to Craig Merrill:

 South Tower: Power on, elevators working, AC on -  Pool being cleaned of debris prior to topping off with water - spa as well

North Tower: no power, no elevators, no water, AC cooling tower leak not repaired but AC will go on when power restored, spa down with failed pump & pool will be cleaned later today or tomorrow.

North tower is on a different power grid than south tower. Otis will not inspect north tower elevators until power restored.

 Landscapers will be on property today to start clean-up

 Recommend north tower residents stay away (until further notice) until power on and elevator service restored along with AC.


10 am Tuesday - FPL says the power is restored to Tiara.  HOWEVER, I spoke to Steve Donnelly and he reported:

North tower - does not have full power yet.    No AC yet.   Elevator still running on diesel generator.

South tower - currently has power, tho since other buildings don't consistently have power, it is possible that South tower could lose power again.    AC is running, as long as power stays on.    One elevator running and Otis has been called to service the other one.

Bridges:  still CLOSED to traffic, tho those with permits are being allowed on.   The green card might get you on.   Otis service personnel may or may not be allowed onto the island.

RECOMMENDATION FROM STEVE AND CRAIG MERRILL:   Please do NOT return to Tiara on Tuesday - wait until Wednesday or Thursday.

Steve will give me an update later today.

Other info from Steve:    No major damage, just cleanup.



Hurricane Update – Monday 9-11 am

Update from Elliott Merrill:

Craig Merrill was onsite to assess the conditions at Tiara.

There is no major damage to either building at Tiara!      The diesel generators are up and running.

The power remains off and will be off until FPL completes its repairs - no ETA on power restoration.

Landscaping took some hits but that can be repaired with time.

The cooling tower in the South building has a broken pipe and a plumber has been called to repair it.    That means no AC in the South tower.  Without power on the island the North building also has no AC.

There is flooding on A1A in front of Tiara, some of that undoubtedly flows into the parking lots but that will drain with time.

Most Important! - Please do not attempt to return to Tiara until at least late Tuesday.   

Craig will provide further updates later today or Tuesday.

Other updates gathered from other sites, including the St Lucie County site:

The bridges to Hutchinson Island are closed and will remain closed until at least Tuesday.    No one is allowed onto the island.

There was major flooding in Ft Pierce, and some of it has receded today.    Many roads are closed.

It looks like there are many road closures getting from the Turnpike to Ft Pierce, and any info anyone has would be much appreciated.

We have a local source from Aquanique who remained through the hurricane who reports:

There was no storm surge on our beach and only minor flooding on the island.

Some parts of North Hutchinson Island are without water, and once water is restored to those areas there will be a 72-hour boil requirement.



Hurricane Irma – Update Sunday 9-10

From the St Lucie County website:

Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017

                                                                          News Release #230-17


St. Lucie County  2300 Virginia Ave. Fort Pierce, Fla. 34982

St. Lucie County Hurricane Irma Update Sunday, Sept. 10 at 8 a.m.


  1. LUCIE COUNTY – Hurricane Irma’s outer bands began impacting St. Lucie County early this morning with heavy rains and gusty winds with tops speeds of 44 mph along the coastline. Roads, particularly in the Fort Pierce area, are starting to flood. Residents are reminded to stay home and off the roads.

Power Outages

Florida, Power & Light is reporting 720 outages in St. Lucie County, while Fort Pierce Utilities Authority is reporting about 100 in the city as of 8 a.m. Sunday. FPL customers can track outages at; to report outages call 1-800-4OUTAGE (800-468-8343).

FPUA customers can track outages at; to report outages call 772-466-7703.


Public Safety officials will close the bridges to the Hutchinson Island (both North and South) starting at noon today, until further notice. If residents want to get off the island and go to a shelter – now is the time to do so. Residents are urged to stay off the roads throughout the day as roads are starting to flood and traffic signals are starting to lose power. This information will be updated throughout the day and posted to, as well as being shared on social media.   


Susan Sohni reports:

Just read in the Palm Beach Post:

Hutchinson Island customers will have their water supply turned off at 5 a.m. Sunday. Water service is being turned off to protect the integrity of the system and the water supply, county officials announced late Saturday.

Hurricane Irma Update Saturday a.m.

Update from St Lucie County website, Hurricane Update, Saturday a.m. update:

St Lucie County has lifted mandatory evacuations for North and South Hutchinson Island.   Voluntary evacuations are still recommended.     Tropical storm force winds are projected through Sunday.

EM for Tiara Towers:

Elliott Merrill directed Steve to NOT shut down the cooling towers on Friday, so until and if there is a loss of power (from FPL) the AC should remain on at Tiara Towers.


Other Concerns, based on information from NOAA:

Irma is currently forecast to move up the west coast of Florida, reaching into western Georgia.    Orlando is still well in the cone for storm force winds and rain.    All of us who have evacuated to north Florida and into Georgia now have to consider the weather conditions in these areas.

Note:  This does not mean that we can return to Tiara.   There is always a possibility of a change in Irma's track, and tropical storm force winds continue to be a serious concern.    We also have no information on changes to Tiara's infrastructure and expect that elevator service will remain off at this time.