Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Out of the shelter, good news awaits in Clearwater

CLEARWATER — They left the shelter and pulled home to Clearwater Trailer City a little before 9 a.m. Monday expecting the worst.

But to their surprise, Claudia Smith and her partner, Gary Bishop, found their faded old single-wide pretty much how they left it before Hurricane Irma.

They both cracked open a Budweiser and fell into the couch. They had been sleeping in a cafeteria for two days, their cat, Whiskers, cooped up in the animal section.

"I will never go through the experience of going in a shelter ever again," Smith, 57, said. "It was like being in a mental institution. Sleeping on the floor, a bunch of people around you."

Nathaniel Oliver, 51, had evacuated with his girlfriend to a friend's house on higher land and returned to the trailer park early to survey the damage.

He said he came upon a few looters - three guys and a woman - picking up aluminum scraps and checking door knobs. He yelled at them to leave and reported them to the police who arrived for wellness checks that morning.

A large oak tree he expected to topple onto his trailer was still standing and spared his house. But a piece of a neighbor's aluminum roof fell on his car, swiping off the side mirror.

"Nothing fell on my trailer so I thank God," he said.

Contact Tracey McManus at [email protected] or (727) 445-4151. Follow @TroMcManus.

Out of the shelter, good news awaits in Clearwater 09/11/17 [Last modified: Monday, September 11, 2017 11:09am]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Dirk Koetter, not Jameis Winston, has to make the call


    “Touchdown” Tom Jones, the best Bucs columnist in town, htook it to the house Tuesday when he wrote that Jameis Winston should do the right thing and take a seat if he’s not perfectly healthy to play at Buffalo.

    Dirk Koetter and Jameis Winston
  2. This is no time for Jameis Winston to play hero


    Don't be a hero, Jameis.

    Do the right thing. Do what's best.

     Quarterback Jameis Winston #3 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers sits on the bench during the NFL game against the Arizona Cardinals at the University of Phoenix Stadium on October 15, 2017 in Glendale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) 700070683
  3. NBA off and running to its usual ending


    The NBA season began Tuesday night.

    It ends in June.

    Call me when the Warriors win.

    True, there was news Tuesday night, bad news, grisly news, as Celtics small forward and newcomer Gordon Hayward dislocated his ankle and broke his tibia in a look-away injury early in Boston’s opener at LeBron.

    Golden State's Steph Curry drives on the Houston Rockets on NBA Opening Night
  4. It's time for the Dodgers to be back in the World Series


    It’s hard to believe that it’s been 29 years since the Los Angeles Dodgers made the World Series. That’s far too long. I still remember being at Chavez Ravine for the 1988 World Series, watching Kirk Gibson homer into the right field stands to beat the Oakland A’s in Game 1.

    Been a long …

    The Los Angeles Dodgers congratulate each other after beating the Chicago Cubs in Game 3 of the National League Championship Series
  5. Kenny Chesney coming to Raymond James Stadium in Tampa


    Used to be you could set your watch to a Kenny Chesney concert at Tampa's Raymond James Stadium.