Monroe County Emergency Management Hurricane Irma Update (Sept. 14 • 6 p.m.)
Florida Keys Temporarily Closed to Visitors as Infrastructure Evaluation and Repairs Are Underway
Re-entry is still limited to residents and business owners in the Upper Keys, to mile marker 73, and only during non-curfew hours. Work is being done as quickly as possible to make it safe enough to open the rest of the Keys to re-entry.
Please be patient. Marathon to Key West still is unsafe to return. There is limited water, food, power, fuel, sewer and medical services.
The Upper Keys situation is different. Much of the area has water, power, fuel, a functioning ER at Mariners Hospital (and close proximity to Miami-Dade medical facilities) and open grocery stores and a pharmacy.
Keys Energy Services, which covers the South end of Seven Mile Bridge to Key West, reports that about 16 percent of their clients now have service in parts of Key West, Stock Island and Key Haven.
The Florida Keys Electric Coop, which services the rest of the Keys, has restored power to about 42 percent of its service area.
The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority reports it continues to make progress. It now has pressure down to Stock Island. Most of the homes and businesses not receiving water in the Upper and Middle Keys is mostly due to broken lines in people’s yards ripped up by fallen trees.
From 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday evening, FKAA is delivery water to Key West and Stock Island from stored supplies and the reverse osmosis plant for sanitary purposes only. Do not drink this water without boiling. FKAA is scheduled to charge the system again Friday morning form 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.
There are three fill stations for customers. Bring your jugs, 5 gallon buckets, etc. They will be open from 8-6 daily. The locations are as follows:
Mile Marker 10 on Big Coppitt @ FKAA Pump Station Tank
Summerland Key @ Horace Street @ FKAA Pump Station Tank
Big Pine Key @ Drinka Lane across from Winn Dixie
Water should only be used for sanitation purposes and not for washing cars, boats and houses for now. There is still a precautionary boil water notice in effect for all of the Keys.
Disaster Medical Assistance Teams have set up medical care stations at Florida Keys Community College on Stock Island and at Marathon City Hall. They are open 24/7.
SEARCH AND RESCUE
Search and rescue teams continue today to go door to door in the hardest hit areas of the Keys, including Big Pine Key and Cudjoe Key. Military personnel have helped law enforcement break through the debris and assist in the search. The search teams do not enter shuttered homes at this time.
We know that many people are worried about family members and friends who stayed in the Keys during Hurricane Irma and now cannot be reached. The major reason for not being able to reach people is the lack of communication capability in the Keys. Most of the Keys are without internet or cell service.
COUNTY FOOD AND WATER DISTRIBUTION POINTS
Six distribution centers for food and water are located at:
Coral Shores High School in Tavernier
Marathon High School
National Key Deer Refuge office on the Overseas Highway in Big Pine Key
Sears Town Plaza in New Town Key West
4th Street parking lot near the soccer field in Bahama Village in Old Town Key West.
DEBRIS REMOVAL FOR RESIDENTS AND BUSINESS OWNERS
Debris will be picked up from residences and businesses in the days to come. The debris should be piled up near the road. But do not block the road or driveways.
DOCUMENT YOUR PROPERTY DAMAGES
As soon as you can, document all damage in your home and on your property. This can be done with photos and video. This is important for insurance and FEMA claims.
If you think your home is damaged, prior to returning to the Keys, you can download the FEMA app and start a claim now.
The dusk-to-dawn curfew will remain in place until further notice.
MARINE TOWING AND SALVAGE
Sea Tow Key Largo is up and running. All vessels, salvage equipment, trucks and trailers are ready for work. If you need assistance, call: 502-645-3578 or 305-451-3330.
Cell service still is spotty and mostly unavailable in the Keys. AT&T and Verizon crews are working to restore service.
There is not land line or cell service available at the Emergency Operations Center in Marathon. This is a restricted space for first responders who are working around the clock to help the community recover and get resources to the people who need it.
HOW TO GET INFORMATION WITH NEW WEBSITE
Monroe County Emergency Management has a new website dedicated solely to the Hurricane Irma Recovery Effort. It is www.keysrecovery.org.
Information also is available on Facebook @KeysRecovery and Twitter at @keysrecovery
Monroe County’s Information Hotline is back on line at 1-800-955-5504.
Content provided by the Monroe County Emergency Recovery