In the wake of Hurricane Matthew, early reports from Colony Island indicate damage was considerably less than expected. In an exclusive telephone interview with mayor, William Marlin, the overall assessment is Colony Island was very lucky.
“First of all, call me ‘Bill’. The only time I’m called ‘William’ is when Mrs. Marlin is upset with me.
“I’d say we dodged a real bullet this time around. We’ve been fairly lucky with storms in the past, but I was sure we were going to suffer a direct hit. Our location makes us kind of a sitting duck
“Don’t think that we didn’t have any damage. We did incur storm damage on the island but we’ve seen worse in the past. Our town has been here for well over two hundred years and we’re doing pretty good.”
Colony Island is Powerless
“We lost power early in the storm. I’ve had to call Florida Power and Light at least half a dozen times and I still don’t think they believe we’re an actual town. Sometimes, they say they’ve never heard of us. Other times, they’ve told me to stop wasting their time with practical jokes in the middle of an emergency. The last time, they simply hung up on me.
“We do have some lines down and a number of damaged poles. Fortunately, a couple of residents here have worked for FPL at one time or another and they’ve advised us of the precautions we need to take.
The tiny community called Feraltown is completely deserted. The residents evacuated early on and headed for deep water. It is unknown if, or when, they’ll return.
As for the rest of the population, mayor Marlin said “Over half of our citizens packed up and headed inland. For example, George Tench owns a condo up in the city and the whole family decided to ride things out, up there.
“A good many of our citizens don’t own cars and rely on bicycles to get around the island. By and large, they were the ones who remained here in town. We really need some sort of transportation system on the island, especially for times like this.
“I really must hand it to our Volunteer Fire Department. They remained on duty, every single one of them, and patrolled the town looking for folks in trouble and checking on houses. Now that the worst is over, they’ve been helping remove limbs and downed trees from the streets.”
Bill Marlin was quick to sum up the damage. “Aside from trees and limbs down, the overall damage is fairly light. A couple of houses lost their roofs, screens were torn from many windows, some fences came down and a tree fell into somebody’s Florida room.
“All but two of the boats comprising our fishing fleet were able to put to sea and ride out the storm near Bermuda. The two remaining boats got knocked around a bit but they’ll be put to rights as soon as the boat yard reopens.
“The only real flooding came from the downpour. The storm surge was less than we had expected and that probably had something to do with the tides. Once we get the power back on, we’ll be in business, again.”
As of this moment, it is uncertain as to when the lights will come back on. Given that few people realise there is a town in Florida named Colony Island and even fewer actually know where it is, restoring power to the island may take a while. Meanwhile, the minimal damage and small storm surge will reinforce the belief among many of the residents that Poseidon has their back.
Thanks to Roxanne Leavitt and Dalton Smith for contributing to this story.
 On most maps, Colony Island is overlooked all together. It does appear on more detailed maps, but even then, it’s difficult to locate.
 ‘Feral’ is the local term for merfolk who constantly live at sea. From time to time, one or more will try and have a go at living on land. They are usually housed in the Feraltown community until they begin to assimilate. As a rule, feral merfolk have few – if any – possessions and will readily decamp at a moment’s notice. Once the emergency is over, returning is optional.
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UPDATE: The lights are back on in town. A FP&L crew got lost after repairing a downed line and wound up on Colony Island. The crew called in to report they were on Colony Island dealing with downed lines and damaged poles. Headquarters told them to stop trying to pull their leg.
Fortunately, the crew had camera phones with them and were able to document the existence of the town. Mayor Marlin quipped “They should have asked someone in the billing department as our monthly statements always seem to arrive here without any problem.”