In Florida, the first sign of trouble is silence.
It is a noisy place, all hours, all days -- noisy in its color schemes, its traffic and the thrum of its fauna. Silence here carries ominous portents; the morning of Hurricane Andrew on Aug. 24, 1992, was famously balmy and unusually calm.
Another deadly storm, Hurricane Matthew, bore down on the state's eastern seaboard on Friday. The silence began east of Orlando.
Crows no longer cawed, cicadas were still. Traffic, for once, vanished. In their place, the sound of palm trees bent in the wind.
In the town of Eatonville, an impoverished exurb north of Orlando, residents appeared to be heeding...