The Disaster in Stuart, Florida by Robert G Smith
It was a beautiful, sunny day in Stuart, Florida. The weather fore cast promised mid eighties, tropical breezes and a ten percent chance of thunder storms, a perfect Chamber of Commerce day.
It was a good day to work outdoors. The whole area was buzzing with activity. Residents were following their daily routines, working at the projects that keep a community operational.
Many construction projects were in full swing. A large excavation project was under way. A mass of the sandy soil of South Florida was piled high as they prepared the lower extremities of the project.
The mound of earth had grown day by day as the construction crew continued transporting their loads up its side. Other crews were continually maintaining the mound to facilitate their passage.
The excavation for the project was nearing completion. Eventually the excess dirt would be spread around until it was no more. Inside the new construction it was a beehive of activity as partitions were constructed to accommodate the future tenants.
The project was nearly complete and would create many jobs which would be a boon to the community. Life was good and everyone was busy.
Late in the afternoon, without any warning from the powers that be, the sky darkened and the wind began to pick up, making a loud roar. As it bore down on them, they ran for cover but many were caught in the open.
The wind picked up great amounts of the sandy soil piled high creating a blackout sand storm. Anyone failing to reach shelter was thrown about like a rag doll.
Then, as suddenly as it came, it was gone, the deafening sound faded in the distance and the dust began to settle.
Dazed survivors stumbled through the devastation. Take-charge individuals began to
organize and evaluate the situation. Many corpses were strewn about the landscape.
Those who had escaped the terrible fate all pitched in to help where they could.
As they concentrated on the task at hand, they suddenly realized the sound was getting louder again. Once more they dove for cover. As it broke over them it completed the devastation that the first wave missed. The whole community was left in a shambles. The storm was to violent that most of the earthen mound had been blown away.
The community had lost at least half of its residents.
"Damn fire ants!" muttered the old man as he pushed his mower across the lawn.