MICCOSUKEE RESERVATION, Florida – Some passed the time playing blinking slot machines, swimming in the pool and eating at a 24-hour restaurant. Others who fled Hurricane Ian in trailers and motorhomes set up camp in the parking lot of the tribal casino on the edge of the Everglades.
“The most important thing is we're safe,” said Ping Hu, 46, whose home in Sanibel Island was cut off by the hurricane that had left two fellow residents dead.
The Miccosukee Casino & Resort was just one of the countless hotels, friends’ homes and shelters across South Florida where evacuated residents, families and retirees temporarily holed up this week.
Thursday night, one group sat on folding chairs and sipped beers to watch the sun dip below the grassy expanse stretching back toward the hurricane-ravaged west coast. They commiserated together, wondering if their homes were ruined. They read news reports, texted friends for electricity updates and debated when to return.