Definitive proof of natural selection?. . . Palm Beach County is heavily populated by liberal Democrats, this article shows that Palm Beach residents are hurting themselves and even killing themselves because they aren't very intelligent. . . coincidence or evolution at work? http://www.palmbeachpost.com/storm/content/local_news/epaper/2005/10/28/c1a_injuries_1028 Residents injured amid cleanup chores tax 911 responders By Andrew Marra Palm Beach Post Staff Writer The calm after the storm has turned into a bloody, fiery mess. People straining to clean up and get by after Hurricane Wilma are severing fingers, chain-sawing limbs, falling from roofs, burning their skin, inhaling carbon monoxide and suffering heart attacks. Palm Beach County's fire-rescue agencies have been struggling to keep up with the flood of storm-related injuries. It's gotten so bad that Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue, the area's largest agency, has stopped responding to certain 911 calls like fire alarms, sparking power lines or reports of smoke. "We've got to prioritize," Capt. Don DeLucia said. "People need to understand we only have so many people." Officials blame much of the surge of serious injuries and occasional deaths on people using contraptions with which they have little familiarity, such as generators and chain saws. What's more, elderly residents and people with health problems are doing yardwork and manual labor to which they're unaccustomed. In Loxahatchee, a man fell dead from a heart attack this week while operating a chain saw. His wife found him on the ground with the tool still snarling at his side. Another man tried to pour gasoline into a generator while it was operating. The fumes ignited and left him with burns over half of his body. A woman in a Mangonia Park apartment apparently died from carbon monoxide poisoning Thursday morning after people used a charcoal grill to cook inside. Three others, including an 11-month-old infant, were found unconscious and were rushed to a local hospital. Firefighters have learned to expect an increase in such injuries and mishaps after any hurricane, but this year they say the onslaught has been especially strong. The spike may be due in part to the fact that more Palm Beach County homes and businesses roughly 200,000 more are without power this year than after either of the two hurricanes that hit here last year, officials say. That means a greater chance for generator mishaps and more problems when the power finally comes back up. Ironically, an increase in house fires this week is being blamed partly on the return of electricity. As homes darkened after the storm, residents forgot they left stoves or ovens on. When power resumed later, the stove tops reheated, igniting objects that had been stacked on top. Snapped power lines that lay dead for days are becoming sparking menaces as power grids come back on line, posing deadly danger to passersby and even being blamed for new blazes. "Every time they get one of their grids up, our call-load doubles," said Battalion Chief Dennis Withington of West Palm Beach Fire-Rescue. Those who encountered post-storm disaster and lived to tell about it have become walking warnings. Sixteen-year-old Brenda Sanchez spent all day Tuesday lying around her house, nauseous and dizzy. Every time she stood up, she felt like she would collapse. Ditto for the other nine family members in her house west of West Palm Beach. Thinking something was in the water, they finally called 911 Tuesday night. It turned out to be the generator. They had been careful to place it outside but put it directly in front of their front door. With all of their windows still closed and shuttered, the generator's carbon monoxide exhaust easily blew inside and became trapped, sickening the entire family. The fire-rescue workers who came to Sanchez's house rushed the whole family to St. Mary's Medical Center for treatment and testing. "They said by the next day we might not have woken up," Sanchez said. Generators have proved to be a fire hazard as well as a carbon-monoxide danger. On Banana Road west of West Palm Beach, a man placed a generator next to his closed garage, which was stocked this week with gasoline cans. He opened the garage while the generator was running. When the fumes drifted toward the generator, they ignited and torched his garage. Metal hurricane shutters have severed fingers and lacerated arms. People fixing roofs have fallen from ladders. It is all happening at such a pace that county fire-rescue officials have had to say "no" to many 911 callers. See smoke somewhere in the unincorporated county and want it checked out? Forget about it. Worried about a fallen power line? Don't bother. Someone pulled the fire alarm? If there's no flames, they're not coming. Not this week, anyway. In West Palm Beach, officials say they've been able to respond to lower-priority calls like fire alarms but have been sending fewer firefighters than normal. Palm Beach County Fire-Rescue received 4,000 emergency calls between midnight Sunday and midnight Monday, the day of the storm. Many of the calls now coming in concern things with which officials say they don't have time to deal elderly residents with low oxygen tanks or streets with dangling power lines, for instance. "A third of the time," DeLucia said, "they're being turned down because it's not a life-threatening emergency."