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  • Writer's pictureChristina Hammoud

Stuck on a bridge: Key Biscayne

Imagine a normal afternoon turning into the wildest day of your life. I was filling in for a friend at a resort marketing event on Key Biscayne when suddenly, the bridge back to the mainland shut down. Rumors flew—some said the bridge had collapsed, others feared a fire. With bad cell service, we had no clear answers, and we all felt completely left in the dark.

Hours passed like a slow-motion nightmare. Emergency vehicles blared their sirens, helicopters buzzed overhead, and tempers flared in the unending sea of cars. Families with kids started walking to nearby stores for food and restrooms, unsure when they could return to their vehicles. The fear of the unknown led people's imaginations to run wild. At one point, I overheard someone thinking this was a terrorist attack.

Social media became our lifeline amidst the chaos. A video I hastily filmed inside a packed grocery store captured the panic and desperation as people scrambled for essentials. News channels and websites shared it, thrusting me unexpectedly into the spotlight.

Inside the store, panic spread like wildfire. People fought over dwindling supplies, fearing we might be stranded indefinitely. Some joked nervously about being stuck for months, with escape only by boat or swimming.

Many people were stranded in Crandon Park, a popular local beach, with no restrooms or food. Families with infants faced particularly tough challenges. As the sun began to set, the situation grew more desperate. Cars ran out of gas, batteries died, and accidents happened in the mounting confusion. It was a stark reminder of how quickly things can spiral out of control.

I was among those stuck for a grueling 9 1/2 hours, contemplating the possibility of sleeping on the island. The talk of the town revolved around our plight, especially as some families with infants faced added challenges.

Finally, authorities shed light on the bridge closure: construction delays were to blame. They promised measures to prevent such chaos in the future, but the damage was already done.

After this intense experience, I learned the importance of being prepared. Now, I keep emergency supplies in my car, ready for any unforeseen circumstances. That uncertain day taught me resilience and how life can throw unexpected challenges our way.

In the midst of it all, I found myself being interviewed by local news at 1 am. The next day, more news outlets picked up the story. It was a surreal way to find myself thrust into the public eye and my video going viral, hitting over 1 million views.

My day on Key Biscayne was more than just a traffic nightmare; it was a testament to human endurance and community spirit. In the face of adversity, strangers came together, showing strength and compassion. It underscored how swiftly life can change, leaving an indelible mark on those who lived through it.

Fortunately, the city of Miami took notice and made changes to delay construction, aiming to prevent similar incidents in the future. Key Biscayne, often frequented by locals seeking refuge from tourists, became the epicenter of an unexpected drama that united us all in a shared experience of resilience and adaptation.


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