Topsider Damage Update (10/12/2017 at 4:29 pm)
Even though the pool has a leak it looks wonderful to see it looking a bit more like the old Topsider. This is a picture of the pool post inspection. We have the results of the leak test and are getting a proposal for the repairs. The structural engineer was at the resort for two days this week and will be submitting his report to the insurance company. Once this is submitted it should give us a good idea of the scope and cost of the renovation project.
We are in the process of contacting general contractors for bids. One company has already been on site to get an idea of the project scope and we are currently waiting on responses from the other construction companies we have contacted.
Manny and Yandi are still cleaning up debris around the resort. The hot water heaters have all been removed and that was the last of the items to be placed out for collection.
Our job now is to work with the insurance company and the contractors to replace or repair the damage done by hurricane Irma.
Topsider Damage Update (9/29/2017 at 7:53 am)
Over the past few weeks, as we continued clean up of the property and met with insurance adjusters and contractors it became clear that the storm damage was greater than originally surveyed. After much discussion between the board of directors and Defender Resorts, we have come to the conclusion in order to ensure the safety of guests and provide the quality vacation expected at Topsider, we will not be able to re-open the resort until 2018.
We are scheduled to meet with an insurance appointed engineer to assess the severity of structural damage to the villas. After over a week without electricity, as the interiors continued to dry out, it was clear that most of the villas sustained water damage as well as some of the furniture. It also became evident that a 1-2 foot storm surge flooded the property damaging the washers, dryers and water heaters. The front office building sustained major damage. There is an obvious leak within the pool and possible damage to the pumps and heaters. There is still no phone, cable or internet on the property and cell phone coverage is spotty.
We have already had contractors on property to perform the removal of dead trees and debris, carpets have been removed, damaged appliances are being removed as well. We are continuing to receive proposals for the various project that will be needed on the property and we are communicating regularly with our insurance company.
Although we are all saddened that we are not able to immediately provide the memorable vacation experience you are accustomed to, the task is not beyond being accomplished. The board of directors and Defender Resorts are committed and focused on bringing Topsider back as quickly as possible and better than ever.
As we receive more information we will continue to update everyone as to our progress and expectation of completion.
In just a week, much progress has been made in recovering our resort.
As of Monday, Sept 18th:
The pool deck has been cleared of debris, however there is significant damage to the pool deck- the pool is showing signs of a major leak, and will be checked once power is restored and it can be fully drained
The large tree that blocked buildings 11-20 has been cleared, there are still downed phone and cable lines also, electric lines have been compromised and the power company has been notified
The board walk has been cleared of debris
Staff continues to clean up landscape debris, however we will need a professional for the larger items. We are contacting local companies
All broken windows and doors have been boarded up
Insurance claims have been filed and the adjuster for Property Insurance has surveyed the property and buildings
Philip and the team continue to work, cleaning the resort without electricity or running water however there are just some tasks that cannot be continued without electricity or water.
Recently, some owners have expressed the desire to come to the resort to help with the clean up. Although this is appreciated, we cannot allow any non-personnel on the property. First off, law enforcement are not allowing non residents to arrive to the Keys. And the reality is that it may be weeks before they do.
Also,having non personnel on the property is a health and insurance hazard. Without electricity or running water, the high heat and the amount of debris and damage it is a danger to anyone. Philip and the resort team, Defender Resorts and the board are working hard to get the resort back into shape, however due the vast destruction in the area, its not just about how quickly we can get Topsider Resort back up and running, but rather the time it will take to recover all of south Florida and restore life essential utilities and functions.
Topsider Hurricane Irma Update (9/15/2017 at 1:40 pm)
Monroe County Emergency Management has set up a website to post updates about the recovery process in the Keys. You can view it at http://www.keysrecovery.org.
Many employees have been personally affected by Hurricane Irma, so Defender Resorts has set up a Go Fund Me campaign to raise funds to assist employees who have been affected, such as Topsider Resort. If you want to get more information or donate you can view the campaign here.
There is a telling quote on keysnews.com today from an Islamorada Councilman (and owner of Mangrove Mike’s Restaurant) on the local conditions:
“Village Councilman Mike Forster, who weathered the hurricane from a small motel room next to his restaurant on Upper Matecumbe Key, said he’s hopeful his town will be back up-and-running at 100 percent by December or January.” His time frame, months not weeks, provides an idea of the reality of the situation in the area of the Topsider.
Also, yesterday, the dusk-to-dawn curfew imposed by the Monroe County Sheriff’s department was extended indefinitely.
As of this morning, the authorities are still reporting the Keys are closed south of MM73 and only residents and business owners can gain entry into the Upper Keys.
MESSAGE from the Board of Directors PRESIDENT:
The property is secured and we are working very hard to begin our recovery.
Please be aware that no visitor or owner will be allowed on the property due to the hazardous conditions caused by debris and damage to the resort. Any person not authorized to be on the property will be considered trespassing.
We appreciate your cooperation and understanding at this time and we will update you as we continue to move forward.
Topsider Hurricane Irma Update (9/13/2017 at 3:40 pm)
NOAA has created a site that provides overhead Hurricane IRMA Imagery. It can be found at https://storms.ngs.noaa.gov/storms/irma/index.html.
On the landing page, click on the search icon on the left and enter an address. (Topsider Resort is 75500 Overseas Hwy, Islamorada). Some businesses are listed (not TS). Use the zoom-in icon to zoom tighter on your destination selection.
The resort damage assessment has started today and will continue for the foreseeable future. Philip, Manny and the maintenance crew are on site starting cleanup and doing the assessment.
We are also still without electricity, water and internet service.
Topsider Resort has been evacuated and secured. We will remain closed until Irma passes and our staff is able to assess any damages that may be done by the storm.
Throughout this time we will continue to post updates here and on our Facebook page as we receive any news.
Thank you to everyone who has sent thoughts, prayers and kind words.
Updated September 7th at 6:30 pm
HURRICANE DAMAGE UPDATE (9/11/2017 at 9:51 am)
The Florida Keys were hit hard by Hurricane Irma, including Topsider Resort. Currently the Keys remain under a travel curfew and are impassible to the mainland.
As soon as our team is authorized to travel to the property we will begin our assessment of the damages and post updates as we receive them.