When will Key West be recovered from Irma?


Sep 17th, 2017, 02:59 AM
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When will Key West be recovered from Irma?

We are scheduled for a late Feb trip to Islamorada, but suspect that Irma did so much damage there that it would be wise to go to a Key Weet instead. Now we are wondering whether most Key West hotels and restaursnts will be operating normally by early next year. Thoughts?
nrwayne is offline  
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Sep 17th, 2017, 04:58 AM
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Key West yes but Islamorada maybe not.
Macross is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2017, 06:02 AM
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Most KW hotels will open Oct. 20
Podie is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2017, 06:22 AM
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Key West is about to receive a cruise ship on the 24th.
Dukey1 is offline  
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Sep 22nd, 2017, 07:33 AM
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I also planned for Islamorada, but in January. But the place I go to is not taking reservations for the rest of 2017. I am leaning toward canceling for this winter.

I thought the hurricane hit the Lower Keys more than it did the Upper Keys/Islamorada.....(??)
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Sep 23rd, 2017, 12:09 PM
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From what I have heard the middle keys got it the worst. Key West has a lot of hotels and restaurants opened now but cleanup will take a while. I spent all day cleaning my yard since the water has receded and still have more trees to cut up and haul to the road. It is stinky and buggy here now. The crews are staying in many of our hotels and would imagine it is the same in the keys. They need to eat and sleep. I know things will be semi-normal for fantasy fest.
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Sep 25th, 2017, 02:56 PM
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Daughter has planned a Key West wedding for Dec. We have gotten word from the venue as well as the hotel group where we have blocked off rooms that they are already in business except for cable and that most of the businesses around them are up and running. No idea about the middle keys, but they will take longer. If it were me, I'd contact the hotel in another couple of weeks and see what they say.
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Sep 27th, 2017, 02:10 AM
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Just got a long email from friends who drove down the Keys to their home in Old Town Key West (they live on the Cape in the summer). Since he describes it in great, helpful detail, I'll quote the whole thing here. As you will see, the Keys between Big Pine Key and Cudjoe Key are devastated. The island of Key West was spared major damage, cleanup is well under way, the city is back to life and all services are restored. Our house-sitter (in Old Town, 2 blocks from Hemingway House, half a block from Whitehead Street), says the same.

Here's what he wrote last night:

"Upper Keys: Key Largo - Islamorada

Some piles of vegetation debris on side of roads.
Some browning of still standing vegetation.
Billboard and other signage destroyed.
Numerous makeshift signs created with plywood sheets and spray paint.

"When the hurricane is over
a rainbow appears.
Welcome Home!" At the beginning of US 1 on Key Largo

"Can't drown a Conch" (Conchs are natives of the Keys)

"Open for business. $ gratefully accepted"

As we traveled south, debris piles became larger and furniture/clothing started to appear mixed in with vegetation.

The odd blue tarp appeared on roof tops, obviously serving as a temporary damage patch.

Middle Keys: Marathon and Keys to its immediate north and south

Debris piles on roadside higher and near continuous.
Lumber and sections of roofs/walls/structures appear along with furnishings.
Boats alongside of roadway/bridges. Some quite large, all damaged.
More blue tarps appear
More structural damage in seen.
Tress stripped bare of leaves
Many trees uprooted, some quite large
Hurricane Relief Stations appear along highway.

As we head south, the Keys assume a scorched earth appearance, and debris piles are one continuous berm with openings for driveways and roads only.
Repair/cleanup crews everywhere. A massive undertaking.
Offroad staging areas filled with debris as high as two stories (look like trash landfills).

Lower Keys: Big Pine to Key West

Ground Zero for Irma's impact. Keys just north and east of Key West were struck by the Irma's dangerous NE eyewall.
Debris piles spill onto highway.
Large trees down everywhere. Even palm trees which are usually pliant in heavy winds are upended.

Structural damage to almost all buildings, some reduced to rubble.
Parts of structures and entire boats have landed on other side of highway.
Travel parks completely devastated. Those trailers that were not blown to shreds, are smashed and overturned on their sides.
Marinas are filled with boats stacked upon others. The damage is total.
Streets are covered with a brown scum/ooze which is rotted vegetation.
Very little vegetation remains. Very few trees remain standing - mostly palm trees.

As noted so often, Big Pine Key to Cudjoe Key resemble a war zone. Debris/rubble everywhere. We saw areas and streets we have never seen before as vegetation has been completely eliminated.
Relief efforts in high gear. Volunteers and supplies/food/water stationed along the highway in close proximity.
Repair/cleanup crews are back to back. Traffic sometimes halted/one way as trucks back into or cross highway. Noted repair trucks from many states. Most heartening.

Below Cudjoe Key, vegetation starts to appear green.
Less damage to structures, less browning.

Key West

Key West streets piled with debris, but everything up and running today. Cellphone is sketchy (breaks up when in use), but AC is humming, electricity has been restored and running water is back (although we'll use bottled water for the next little bit just to be safe)."
EYWandBTV is offline  
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Sep 27th, 2017, 07:30 AM
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EYWandBTV - thank you and your friends for such a detailed description.

One of our daughters and her family live in Key West - just finally bought a house a couple of months ago. Her husband manages a resort there; it is trying to open perhaps mid-October, but that will all depend on what is uncovered as they continue to assess the structures.

As to their house - initially it looked like it weathered the storm pretty well, but further evaluation by the adjuster revealed that the house had actually been moved off its foundations, there was still water in the walls, and the electrical & A/C systems were basically fried. So, recovery will be a long and difficult process.
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Sep 27th, 2017, 07:42 AM
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@sludick: that's unfortunate. I guess 100 mph winds can push houses and water quite a bit. Just for my own background info, as we carefully double-check our house, could you please tell me the general neighborhood of your daugther's house? Old Town, midtown, new town, close to the waterfront or many blocks inland?
Thank you!
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