wjxt logo

Florida Keys residents focus on rebuilding after Hurricane Irma

During hot Key West day, line outside FEMA office is long

KEY WEST, Fla. – The heavy-lifting machines were back out Tuesday afternoon, clearing away mounds of excess debris that has left so many neighborhoods around Key West feeling isolated.

"This is amazing," Keys resident Lillian Anderson said. "They have on other street -- they have like seven trucks waiting to be loaded. They're really doing it seriously."

A week after Hurricane Irma passed through, signs of the impact remain around nearly every corner, WPLG reports.

An SUV crushed by a fallen tree had yet to be removed Tuesday. The SUV was parked on a road near one of the city's busiest areas.

And up the highway in Big Pine Key, the devastation is seemingly endless.

Homes were ripped by the storm and large boats were tossed aside.

Many people lost everything they own, like Nick Harding, whose  property was flooded by storm surge.

"I had 18 inches of water inside the house," he said.

Rebuilding has been the primary mission.

The storm may have destroyed plenty of property in the Upper, Middle and Lower Keys, but it certainly hasn't broken the spirit of people who call the Keys home.

"It’s amazing. Key West is just coming together," Anderson said.


About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.