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What's worse — a hurricane or frostbite?

By JOE CENTERS • Updated Sep 7, 2017 at 11:48 PM

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

And for Aaron Krause, that means going out of town.

The Coral Springs, Fla., native is in New York City with Hurricane Irma barreling down and taking aim on southern Florida.

“I’m terrified right now,” Krause said. “The projected computer models has it going over Miami Beach. There is a mandatory evacuation in Miami Beach and Key Biscayne. My dad and stepmom and stepsister are leaving for Phoenix today (Thursday).

“They are about 10 miles from the ocean. ... It’s the ocean surges they are concerned about.”

Krause, a former reporter at the Norwalk Reflector, lives in the northwest corner of Broward County on the edge of the Everglades.

“I didn’t evacuate,” he said. “This trip was planned long before Irma. I came here to see family and some shows.

“I don’t want to come back to a home without electricity or anything.”

This isn’t the first time Krause has dealt with a hurricane.

“My best memory was when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992,” he said.

“We were at a resort in upstate New York. There were no flights going home. We had to take an Amtrak to Jacksonville then rent a car to get home. I was in high school at the time. We got back and there was no damage. But my stepmother’s home was destroyed. She had a lot friends who came to her rescue.”

Krause worked at the Reflector from July 2002 to December 2015.

He said never got used to the cold weather. Staffers at the Reflector remember him coming into the office all bundled up, but usually without his coat zipped up, a hat or gloves. He had trouble keeping track of his hat and gloves.

“It was the fridgid weather,” Krause said. “The white-outs and the swerving in the car. The ice. Slipping. Level 3 snow emergencies. You could tell me to come to work or be fired and the police could tell me be on the roads and get arrested.”

One assignment pushed Krause over the edge.

“One day I was covering a fire,” he said. “I was the only one in the newsroom. I had to take pictures and how can you write with gloves on? I thought I was going to get frostbite.”

The winters of 2013-2014 and 2014-2015 were especially brutal in Norwalk.

“I tolerated it 13 1/2 years, but it was never as bad as it was the last couple of years. I finally said I had to leave even if I didn’t have a job.”

Hurricanes aside, Krause loves the southern Florida weather.

“I’m a little spoiled here,” he said. “I am disappointed when it gets into the 60s or 50s. I want it in the 80s.”

A mandatory evacuation went into effect at noon Thursday for a portion of Broward County, including for those who live in mobile homes or in low-lying areas.

The evacuation also was ordered for people living east of Federal Highway, including the barrier islands.

“Mandatory evacuations are ordered to protect coastal residents from storm surge and to protect mobile home residents from rising water and high wind,” Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief said at a news conference. “If you are in an evacuation zone or are asked to evacuate, please do so.”

Sharief said tropical storm force winds are expected to begin Saturday morning or afternoon in Broward County and are expected to worsen throughout the weekend into Monday.

“Irma is a dangerous, Category 5 storm, but proper preparation and adherence to evacuation orders can help us weather it safely together,” Sharief said.

Broward County officials said drawbridges will be locked down beginning at noon today.

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