After Hurricane Irma: Boynton Ice employees help keep residents cool


  

On a typical day Boynton Ice employees are out delivering to restaurants, convenience stores and bait shops. But this week Hurricane Irma has brought the store a different type of clientele: Her victims. 

Around 2 p.m., 36 percent of FPL’s 739,000 accounts were still out of power. No air conditioning. No place to keep food cold. No cold beer after a day of sweating outside from trying to get your yard back in shape. 

“Nobody has ice. It’s unbelievable,” said Palm Springs resident Keryn Piersa. “Everybody’s talking about gas and this and that.”

Piersa heard about Boynton Ice on the radio and on Wednesday made the trip to Industrial Avenue off Boynton Beach Boulevard and Interstate 95. She bought four 25-pound blocks of ice that she’ll fill her coolers with. 

“I never knew this place existed,” she said, sounding relieved.

Customers who aren’t familiar with the area, or the store, will see an “ice” sign in front of the business. 

Randy Campbell had been looking for ice for two days: “It’s impossible.”

He found Boynton Ice on the internet. He made the trip from Boca Raton, and left with three bags of cubed ice and one block. 

Benny Townend, the owner’s father, said the customers started to come last Thursday before the storm.

“I think they’re more relieved to get it. I think they’re actually glad they found it and they can go look for something else they need like gasoline or propane,” he said. 

The store has been in business for six years and employees typically make 800 bags of cubed ice per day plus blocks. 

On Monday they sold ice to a couple hundred people. Since then, maybe 100 per day. 

The blocks are more valuable, Townend said.

A 12-pound block lasts three times as long as a bag of cubes does. One block is $2.50, and so is a bag of cubes.

As for Townend, he doesn’t need to bring any ice home- he never lost power. 

How? He thinks it’s pure luck.

Before the storm he brought home the five stray cats in the area. 

“I told my wife I’m doing this for luck,” he said. 

And he had a generator set up at the store. 

They even donated some ice to those living in low-income neighborhoods.

Tony Alm from Lake Worth needed ice not to bring home because of power issues, but because he was headed out to fish.

“Nobody had ice today,” he said. “We went to three places.”

He bought six bags.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Retiring crime-lab chief helped crack cold cases, catch rapists, elevate forensic science
Retiring crime-lab chief helped crack cold cases, catch rapists, elevate forensic science

Just before Cecelia Crouse was hired by the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office in 1992 to be part of the crime lab as a forensic scientist conducting DNA research, she had to look up the definition of “forensics.” She took the interview with the encouragement of a friend, but didn’t understand why a law-enforcement agency would...
Opioid crisis: cities, states use tobacco playbook to sue Big Pharma

Palm Beach County’s lawsuit against key pharmaceutical companies states that its case is about runaway corporate greed where profits were put above the health and well-being of consumers duped into believing addictive opioid painkillers were safe. Sound familiar? It should. It’s torn from the same playbook that brought another powerful...
UPDATE: DCF report details West Palm-area toddler’s drowning
UPDATE: DCF report details West Palm-area toddler’s drowning

The sliding glass door was open. Neighbors stood along the apartment complex’s lake. A pair of sandals sat on its shore.  Soon afterward, 4-year-old Wedson Paul was found in the water at the Palms West Apartments, where he lived with his family, according to a Florida Department of Children and Families incident report on his May 15 drowning...
‘I want to stay’: Immigrant gets reprieve from ICE, but for how long?
‘I want to stay’: Immigrant gets reprieve from ICE, but for how long?

Ricardo Diego Pedro knew the stakes were high, but he betrayed no emotion as he sat on a hard plastic chair in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office here one recent morning. Diego Pedro, a Guatemalan immigrant who has been appealing a federal removal order for years, faced the distinct possibility that he would be handcuffed and detained as...
He’s got sick Rubik’s Cube skills … but his spelling savvy? Behemothic
He’s got sick Rubik’s Cube skills … but his spelling savvy? Behemothic

A seventh-grader at Christa McAuliffe Middle School broke the world record this year for solving a Rubik’s Cube with his feet in the fastest average time — 26.13 seconds. He can also solve the cubes blindfolded.  But that’s old news. Tommy Cherry’s latest achievement? He’ll represent Palm Beach County next...
More Stories