As Irma shifted, so did Florida evacuation plans

19 September, 2017, 06:54 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • 'Long Road to Go': Officials Talk Irma Relief in Florida Keys

Although Irma struck on Sept 10, some Keys residents still can not return to their homes.

Hernando County Sheriff's officials said in a news release Saturday that their officers, along with firefighters and wildlife officials encouraged residents in Talisman Estates, Riverdale and other flood prone areas to leave.

With some 300 students, most of whom evacuated with their families in advance of Hurricane Irma, the Basilica School of St. Mary Star has been educating Key West children since 1868.

Officials warn those making the trip that services in the area are nearly nonexistent and there is a heavy law enforcement presence to prevent looting, the county said in a news release.

Irma also killed at least another 40 people in the Caribbean before hitting the Keys September 10 as a Category Four hurricane with winds of 180 miles (295 kilometers) per hour, and then barreling up the length of the state.

Keys officials are setting up almost two dozen checkpoints in the hardest hit areas staffed by law-enforcement to make sure only authorized residents and relief workers get through.

"We've got a long road to go", Price said.

Some parents say the worst part of the hurricane's aftermath has been the lack of options for children as many stores, pools and water parks have been closed due to cleanup efforts and no power.

"I think the governor just wants to have anything and everything that could possibly add stress to homeowners to not add that stress", said Miller.

'Long Road to Go': Officials Talk Irma Relief in Florida Keys
As Irma shifted, so did Florida evacuation plans

Customers who lost electricity on Florida's eastern side will likely have it restored by this weekend, because fewer utility poles came down there, the company said.

Scott said he hopes to have tourists return to the island chain by October 1.

"We've done a lot of hard work when you were gone".

"We're so blessed and lucky to not be in the same place that they are right now, and it could've been us". On Friday, Mariners Hospital became the first medical facility in the Keys to open and 17 percent of people in the Key West area and 65 percent of people in the rest of the Keys have power.

Roofs flew off of many structures in the Florida Keys as well.

Full restoration is expected for Key West to Lower Sugarloaf by next week.

A boil order is also still in effect in the Keys with available water to be used only for sanitation purposes, he said.

The Upper Keys, which include Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada, have started to bounce back more quickly than the Middle and Lower Keys, likely owing to their distance from Irma's eye and proximity to the mainland.

"We will not tolerate people who take advantage of our citizens", Ramsay said in a statement. They encouraged residents to bring tents, small air conditioning units, food, water and medications.

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