Great news from the Florida Keys, despite taking the full brunt of Hurricane Irma’s wrath, the Keys will be open to visitors beginning October 1, 2017.
If you’ve ever been to the Florida Keys, then I’m sure you have treasured memories of tropical relaxation mixed with the thrill of incredible sportfishing and diving. If you’ve never been to the Keys, now would be a great time and the guides and businesses who are getting up and running would certainly appreciate the business right now.
Florida Keys are opening October 1st! Come on Down!
Local officials said, “Most of the immediate infrastructure repairs have been made. Almost all power and water have been restored from Key Largo through Marathon as well as throughout Stock Island and Key West. Cellular service is working well, but restoration of Comcast cable television and internet is lagging behind other utilities.
In addition, recovery efforts are ongoing, especially in the Lower Keys and parts of Marathon where many residences and businesses were hardest hit by the storm. Motorists should use extreme caution when navigating these regions and stay off side roads to avoid hindering restoration activities. Throughout the Keys there are significant debris piles that are being picked up by cleanup contractors. While Key Largo and Key West were least impacted by the Category 4 storm, not all lodging, including RV resorts and other tourism facilities throughout the Keys, are operating on a normal basis. Potential visitors should call ahead to ensure hotels and their favorite attractions are open. Some hotels are accommodating displaced residents under a Federal Emergency Management Agency program. Bridges on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway passed inspections and several roadbed breaches were repaired.”
The quick recovery is thanks to the hard, compassionate work of the locals and the volunteers who rushed to the aid of Key’s residents in their greatest time of need. Individuals and business alike have donated time, sweat, money and supplies to help get people back in their homes and back to work.
Hospitals have reopened in the Upper Keys and Key West.
“We know we have a long way to go before the Keys fully recover,” said Monroe County Mayor George Neugent. “But because tourism is our top economic engine and many of our residents’ livelihoods depend on it, we also know that we need to begin asking visitors to return.”
The Port of Key West has reopened to cruise ships.
Key West International Airport has reopened and commercial service has resumed, as has general aviation. Florida Keys Marathon International Airport is processing general aviation and charter flights again.Some special events have been postponed or canceled.
Others including Key Largo’s Humphrey Bogart Film Festival, set for Oct. 18-22, Marathon’s Stone Crab Eating Contest scheduled Oct. 21 and Key West’s Fantasy Fest, slated for Oct. 20-29, are to take place as planned.
More information on the Keys can be found at fla-keys.com.
Recovery efforts are being chronicled at keysrecovery.org