What was intended to be a public service to Hollywood, Fl., residents during Hurricane Irma got taken over by car dealers in the city. Three municipal Parking Garages were made available, free of charge to the public, to allow them to get their cars off the streets during the storm. However on Thursday when Hollywood residents tried to park their vehicles, they found cars with price tags on their windows had already taken 40 of the spots ahead of the storm.

Car dealers take advantage of the city’s generosity

Speaking for the city, Raelin Storey said they had hoped to do something nice for the city’s residents, but it was disheartening and discouraging that people had taken advantage of their kindness.

Storey said they had opened up the three municipal parking garages on Wednesday in preparation for Hurricane Irma, especially for those residents in flood-prone areas or without garages or other protection for their cars. Storey said it is something the city has done during bad storms for as long as she can remember. By midday on Friday, all garages in the city were full.

As reported by the Sun Sentinel, Storey said the dealership cars found in the garage have been ticketed, but they have not yet found out who the culprit is. The fact they are ticketed doesn’t help residents much in the lead up to the storm however.

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It is unclear whether it was just one dealer or several involved, but she said the city believes it to be an improper use of what is basically a public facility, but for private gain. She added that the city will investigate the situation further once the storm is over.

Large sailboat poses dangers to Hollywood residents

As reported by Local 10 News, residents of Hollywood also have other concerns. There is a 97-foot sailboat moored against a sea wall just south of Hollywood Boulevard which they believe could cause problems.

Ray Thackeray, the captain of the yacht, said they had tried to reposition the boat’s anchors, but their transmission failed. Residents living in a condominium close by are worried the yacht could end up in the middle of State Road A1A. Tracy Seneca, one of the residents, said she is concerned the boat could bring down the power lines in the area. However Seneca added that the boat could break during Hurricane Irma, sending flying debris into resident’s homes.

Sal Maya, another Hollywood resident, said there is also concern over roof tiles that are unsecured and stacked on unfinished residences in Emerald Hills. The construction company had reportedly refused to do anything about the situation, which could cause major damage to local homes with high winds from the storm.