TALLAHASSEE, FL–Federal officials confirmed Tuesday that all forms of communication with Florida, the bloody battleground for 25 electoral votes, have been cut off.
Across the state, Atlantic Bell phone lines and relays have been severed. The efforts of Georgia-based emergency crews hoping to reconnect lines have been hampered by piles of burning vehicles choking all roads leading into the state.
In addition to the loss of phone contact, Internet, television, and radio communications have been lost to the surging violence plaguing the most bitterly contested state in the nation.
"We are attempting to bring swift and fair closure to these elections," said Florida Governor Jeb Bush during a statewide televised message at 7:35 p.m. EST Monday, the last known transmission from the Sunshine State. "We ask that Gore and his followers concede gracefully and allow a dignified end to a long–what the…? No! Back! Back!" The screen then went black.
Though technicians stationed along the Georgia border have reported receiving faint, garbled radio signals from walkie-talkies and ham radios, the content of these transmissions is unclear. Through the heavy static, the technicians have reportedly heard a variety of unconfirmed sounds, including screams for help, the toneless recitation of random strings of numbers, and harshly barked combat orders.
The technicians could also make out certain specific words and phrases, including "Bush by three," "rererererecount," and "Oy gevalt." Several heavily accented female voices could also be heard wailing, "Elián."
According to reconnaissance photos taken by Russian military aircraft, the entire southeast portion of the state, including Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, is obscured by thick smoke. In a photo of Biscayne Bay, the water has a distinct crimson tint. Another photo shows a flotilla of commercial fishing boats, overloaded with refugees and sailing in the direction of Cuba.
"We have no idea what's going on down there," said Captain Matt Tunney of the Georgia National Guard, one of the few reserve units available to respond to the Florida crisis. "There are 15 million people trapped in that boiling cauldron, everyone from Boca Raton retirees to Jacksonville rednecks to Miami Beach fashion models. To be honest, I don't think I want to know what's going on."