Published: Thu, September 14, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

DoD: About 10000 possibly stranded in Florida Keys

DoD: About 10000 possibly stranded in Florida Keys

Authorities say some parts of the Florida Keys may be inaccessible for weeks.

Not only were residents allowed into Key Largo, Islamorada and Tavernier, but business owners were also allowed in to see their property in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Even when residents return to the Keys over the next few days, they'll face "limited" fuel supplies, and cellphone service by AT&T is on the blink. The agency, though, said the pipeline bringing drinking water from the mainland "appears to be intact".

Though final casualty figures inflicted by hurricane Irma are not immediately known, the death toll has already risen to 12 in the US, according to local authorities on Tuesday.

By Monday, Irma had weakened to a Category 1 storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, as it made its way up Florida's Gulf Coast toward the St. Petersburg-Tampa region.

The Florida Keys were particularly hard hit, with federal officials saying that 25 per cent of homes were destroyed and 65 per cent suffered major damage when Irma barrelled ashore on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane with sustained winds of up to 215 km/h.

Residents and business owners are now allowed to go as far as Mile Marker 80.5 in Islamorada.

"Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted in some way", said FEMA administrator Brock Long, according to CNN.

"In the Keys, we are very resilient people, and we know there is a high price to live in paradise", he said. All of the companies 6,000 crews have been mobilized, and they didn't send any crews to Florida and Texas in anticipation of the storm. Irma then churned up the Florida peninsula, high winds and heavy rain affecting almost the entire state.

FPL reports that almost all - 181,000 of their 210,000 customers in Collier remain without power, and has said that it could take until September 22 until power is restored to Florida's west coast.

Teams are still working to clear Highway 1, the road connecting most of the inhabited islands, and bridge inspections are continuing.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the storm left "devastation" in the Keys, which were under mandatory evacuation orders throughout the storm.

Jacksonville experienced its worst flooding since 1864.

The US aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln was off Florida's east coast and two amphibious assault ships were en route to help in the Keys.

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