Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys hard, and the island chain has started to put the pieces back together. In the meantime, they’re asking visitors to stay home.
The massive storm’s impact varies by region, ranging from minor landscaping clean up to severe damage from storm surges. “Assessments are still being executed,” an official statement from the tourism board states, “but it is believed that most tourism facilities will return to operations soon after the restoration of power, water and communications.”
Residents and business owners have been allowed to return to the Upper Keys, but travelers who have upcoming reservations are being asked to contact their airlines and hotels to change plans.
Currently, service at the Key West International Airport has been suspended until electricity and water have been restored. The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport has also suspended charter flights and general aviation until further notice.
Although the Florida Keys Overseas Highway suffered damage from storm surges, it has been deemed safe by the Florida Department of Transportation. The repairs to the main thoroughfare are expected to be completed today.
While an exact date is still unknown, Key West officials expect to be open again in time for the annual Fantasy Fest celebrations that start on October 20.
More information and updates about the #KeysRecovery can be found on Fla-keys.com.