About 25 percent of homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed after Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida’s tropical islands Sunday morning, according to estimates by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
The Category 4 hurricane left the low-lying islands of Monroe County devastated with its streets covered in debris and some live wires. Not to mention the storm surge, fallen trees and some tipped over boats.
A majority of homes in the county are on the Keys, a 110-mile chain of low-lying islands connected by bridges. Census figures show Monroe County has about 79,000 residents and 53,000 housing units, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Residents who evacuated are slowly returning back – some only to be shocked by the property damage. This morning some residents and business owners were allowed through as far south as Islamorada, according to Journal. On Monday two roads entering Key Largo from Miami were closed due to storm debris.
Major lodging real estate investment trusts were also slammed this weekend. Widespread damage is expected to cause a drop in revenue due to evacuations.
Monroe County officials in the Florida Keys issued mandatory evacuations last week on Wednesday. Currently they’re urging people to stay away, according to the Journal.
“Basically every house in the Keys was impacted in some way or another,” FEMA’s Brock Long said at a news conference. “This is why we ask people to leave.” [WSJ] – Amanda Rabines