Monroe County Emergency Management Hurricane Irma Update (Sept. 15 • 4 p.m.)

Key West is making great progress toward restoring services and discussions have begun about when to reopen.


The Red Cross is gathering incoming supplies and plans to have shelters open later today at Coral Shores High School, Marathon High School, Sugarloaf High School and Key West High School.

Islamorada has opened a shelter at Island Christian School and Fire Chief has set up two Salvation Army Canteen Units at Island Christian School and at the mile marker 75 checkpoint.


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.

Discussions are in the works to reopen the Keys as far as Marathon. A few more health and safety issues have to be worked out first. Stay tuned.

The Lower Keys, the region hardest hit by Hurricane Irma, is still too unsafe for re-entry. The area has limited power and water, and due to the extent of the damage will take the longest time to re-establish utilities.

Key West is making great progress toward restoring services and discussions have begun about when to reopen.

The Upper Keys situation is different. Much of the area has water, power, fuel and open grocery stores and a pharmacy.


Never use a generator, grill, camp stove or other gasoline, propane, natural gas or charcoal-burning device inside a home, garage or any partially enclosed area. Keep these devices outdoors, away from doors, windows and vents that could allow carbon monoxide to come indoors.

Opening doors and windows or using fans will not prevent carbon monoxide buildup in the home. Although carbon monoxide can’t be seen or smelled, it can rapidly lead to full incapacitation and death. Even if you cannot smell exhaust fumes, you may still be exposed to carbon monoxide. If you start to feel sick, dizzy or weak while using a generator, get to fresh air RIGHT AWAY – DO NOT DELAY.


The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority  continues to make progress and their phone line has been repaired. Please call 305-296-2454 to report water leaks. Stock Island and Key Haven now have water available 24/7 and Key West will have water from 10 a.m. to noon and 5 to 10 p.m. tomorrow.

But the boil water notice is still in effect there and throughout the Keys. Water should only be used for sanitation purposes and not for washing cars, boats and houses. Please be considerate of your Keys neighbors who still don’t have any water and need the pressure to continue.

There are three fill stations for customers. Bring your jugs, five-gallon buckets, etc. They will be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. The locations are:

  • Mile Marker 10 on Big Coppitt at FKAA Pump Station Tank
  • Summerland Key at Horace Street at the FKAA Pump Station Tank
  • Big Pine Key at Drinka Lane across from Winn Dixie


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.

The Key West VA Clinic is closed but has put together a virtual clinic through the Miami Veterans Administration. The multidisciplinary team assembled will be ready to help you wherever you are located. They can be reached via phone at 305-757-7666. For information on refilling prescriptions, please call the Miami VAHS Pharmacy at 305-575-3376.


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.


Six distribution centers for food and water are in operation today. They are:

  • Coral Shores High School in Tavernier
  • Marathon High School
  • National Key Deer Refuge office on the Overseas Highway in Big Pine Key
  • Sugarloaf School
  • Sears Town Plaza in New Town Key West
  • Fort Street parking lot near soccer field in Bahama Village Old Town Key West


AT&T and Verizon crews are working to restore service.

Phone service is NOT available at the Emergency Operations Center in Marathon. This is a restricted place for first responders ONLY who are working around the clock to help the community recover and get resources to the people who need it.


Many citizens are going to Islamorada Fire Station 20 to get information and passes. This is an active fire station and is not a location for these services. Please do not go there and interrupt their operations.


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.


Monroe County Emergency Management has a new website dedicated solely to the Hurricane Irma Recovery Effort. It is Information also is available on Facebook @KeysRecovery and Twitter at @keysrecoveryMonroe County’s Information Hotline is back on line at 1-800-955-5504.


Content provided by the Monroe County Emergency Management, FL.