What's Going on in the Florida Keys After Irma Struck?

@moffittjc (35735)
Gainesville, Florida
September 11, 2017 4:30pm CST
Very little information has been coming out of the Florida Keys since the hurricane first made landfall there. We do know they have no water, no electricity, and no phone communication. The devastation there is expected to be horrendous. Well, help is on the way! The Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to Key West to provide emergency services. An update from Monroe County describes "an astounding recovery effort" taking place in the Florida Keys , where there was no water, power or cellphone service after the storm. The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route. In addition, officials said the National Guard has arrived in the island chain, and have cleared six of 42 bridges as safe for travel. However, the road remains closed because of debris. A helicopter pilot who captured video footage halfway down the island chain was interviewed on tv. He was asked why they only went halfway down, and why no one is able to get all the way down to the lower half of the Keys. His response was that while they had enough fuel to get all the way down to Key West, there was no fuel available to refuel their aircraft to get back, hence why they were only flying halfway down. Once the Navy and the National Guard get down there, they will be able to coordinate fuel deliveries, and then recovery operations will kick into high gear. Thankfully, almost the entire Keys population was evacuated prior to the storm. My thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who stayed behind in the Keys during the storm. With the hurricane hitting the Keys as a powerful Cat-4, and the low-lying topography of the islands, there is expected to be catastrophic damage.
10 people like this
9 responses
• Lakewood, Colorado
11 Sep
So great that the Navy is helping and the National Guard. Thanks again Jeff for this news.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
You know its bad when our military has to go in and save everyone. Usually, they only play a support role, like guarding against looting and helping truck in water or food. But when they have to send in multiple Navy ships (including an aircraft carrier) and 10,000 army troops, that speaks a whole different ballgame. They're basically going in there to take control and try to restore order and some resemblance of normalcy down there. It's going to take a long, long time to fix the Keys after this storm!
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• Lakewood, Colorado
18 Sep
@moffittjc Oh yes I see the seriousness of this Jeff..
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
@TiarasOceanView And now I'm worried about Hurricane Maria which might be heading our way in a week. Really hoping this one turns north before it hits Florida, but it's still way too early to tell. And unfortunately, the same Caribbean islands that got wiped out by Irma and Jose are going to get hit by Maria too.
2 people like this
@Raelove (15566)
• Saco, Maine
11 Sep
That's what I hate about the media...they tell us what is the most spectacular or what they can play up to the hilt for ratings. I have gotten so mistrustful of them. My friend searches news out from the more unconventional sites, and he says the Keys took a really hard hit, but you're not hearing about that. For some reason, they were more focused on what the storm could have done to the mainland. In the end, it wasn't nearly as spectacular as they'd predicted. Seems that Irma is only the 7th most powerful storm to hit Florida.
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
Even at 7th on the list, that still says a lot. We've had 119 hurricanes hit Florida since record-keeping began in 1850. So to be 7th out of 119 storms that hit us, that still shows it was pretty bad! And, like you said, the Keys took much worse of a beating than the mainland did. I have been getting my news about the Keys from two sources...a buddy of mine in the military, and a resident who evacuated up here to Gainesville. He is able to communicate with people on the islands by ham radio, so he has been giving us pretty accurate information, which has very closely been collaborated by my friend in the Navy.
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@Raelove (15566)
• Saco, Maine
18 Sep
@moffittjc Put into that perspective, I can see your point. I cannot imagine going through that every few years. I'm sticking to my point that there are some places where people should just not be allowed to live. The risk is just too great, both from the viewpoint of the loss of lives and the obscene costs it takes to rescue people and to rebuild. No place is totally safe. Here, we have blizzards and the occasional microburst thunderstorm. And of course, our lovely ice storms, that come around every few years or so. I am so glad that I no longer am in a place where I'm left at the mercy of those events. But many still are.
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
@Raelove The biggest thing for me is these high-rise condos that they build right on the beach. Literally 10 feet from the water!!! I can't believe the state and the federal government even allow that! Those buildings are literally a foot above sea level. How in the world do they think they're not going to flood? It's just crazy. Plus, the beach is always eroding.
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@Jackalyn (6669)
• Oxford, England
12 Sep
It's must be really awful not knowing what's happened to people or what's happened to your property. One feel so helpless. I'm sure there's going to be a lot of needed just assess the damage before mutch else is done.
2 people like this
@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
I'm happy to hear that the military finally got the road open all the way down to Key West, and they are slowly letting evacuees back in. But there are military checkpoints set up along the way, and anyone heading down there to get back to what's left of their homes has to prove they live in the Keys, and also prove that if they go back they can be self-sufficient (meaning they have plenty of food and water to last them).
• United States
12 Sep
I hope no one stayed and evacuated as told !! And if they did stay, I hope they are safe also. Glad help is on the way
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• United States
18 Sep
@moffittjc That is not a good sign. Those who were supposed to be evacuated .. didn't :(
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
@infatuatedbby I betcha all those people who stayed behind learned their lesson the hard way! I'm willing to bet when the next one comes, they will be the first to high-tail it out of there! lol
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• United States
18 Sep
@moffittjc Yes! That's for sure! Lesson learned the hard way.
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@CoralLevang (40896)
• United States
12 Sep
I haven't even looked online for this, and I don't have tv. I'm afraid to see.
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
It's probably better that you don't bother to even find out. It's bad.
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@CoralLevang (40896)
• United States
18 Sep
@moffittjc I have actually seen some of it. *sigh*
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
23 Sep
@CoralLevang For you it's a *sigh* but for me it's a *teardrop*
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@bluesa (12836)
• Johannesburg, South Africa
12 Sep
Sorry they were hit so hard. I am happy that help is heading their way though @moffittjc . Thoughts and prayers with them all.
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
I just hope we didn't lose too much of our own beloved island paradise! The Florida Keys is a pretty special place to us.
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• Philippines
12 Sep
I hope you guys are surviving out there, We recently start receiving typhoons ourselves over here and it was windy last night. Take care all of you.
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
Stay safe from all those typhoons!
@Happy2BeMe (69918)
• Canada
11 Sep
I have a friend who lives down there. I know she is safe because she left before the storm. Not sure how much damage has been done to her house and property. It hit bad there. So terrible.
1 person likes this
@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
I have lots of friends who live down there. Several evacuated all the way up here to where I live, 800 miles away from their homes. Many of them are still being told they can't go back home yet.
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@Kandae11 (27188)
11 Sep
I wonder if the homes there were badly damaged?
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@moffittjc (35735)
• Gainesville, Florida
18 Sep
90% of all homes and businesses in the Keys were severely damaged or totally destroyed. I'd say the damage is significant.