“The Keys got hit,” said Governor Rick Scott on Friday afternoon from the Emergency Operations Center in Marathon. “I flew over the Keys on Tuesday, but it’s not the same as seeing it in person.”
Monroe County officials met with state and federal officials who promised to keep aid flowing for the battered county. Hurricane Irma passed right over the Lower Keys as a Category 4 storm with impacts felt throughout the island chain.
Although recovery has been swift, many essential services are still unavailable throughout the Middle and Lower Keys and Key West.
With the Upper Keys open to residents since Tuesday, Marathon appears to be next up to allow residents to return. Marathon City Manager Chuck Lindsey said, “We are hoping to let them back in sometime this weekend.”
However, without potable water, electricity and access to health care, officials are bracing for another crisis.
Monroe County emergency manager Marty Senterfitt warns all residents returning to be self-sufficient.
“There is already a strain on our resources,” he said. “Bring what you need to survive.”
The FKAA is reporting widespread leaks throughout its system. Officials said 20 million gallons were released yesterday and only 4 million were accounted for.
Officials are preparing for a second round of hardship when more residents are allowed to return to the Keys.