Forced out by Irma, residents return to Lower Florida Keys

Posted September 19, 2017

Hurricane Irma killed at least 33 people in the U.S. and flooded major cities including Jacksonville, Florida and Charleston, South Carolina.

Gov. Rick Scott ordered state agencies to suspend certain construction permit requirements and other regulations to quicken repairs at property damaged last week by Hurricane Irma. And many celebrities joined forces to raise money for the victims of both recent storms, led by country superstar George Strait who joined dozens of singers, actors, athletes and other celebrities for HAND IN HAND: A Benefit for Hurricane Relief.

"I can tell it's been tough on him because he keeps telling me, 'Can we go home?'" O'Hara, 48, said.

Florida's fuel is delivered at the state's major ports, but every one of those was closed once Irma got close to the Keys.

In response to Scott's emergency rule, the Florida Health Care Association and LeadingAge Florida announced a summit for September 22 to discuss emergency preparedness requirements with providers, utility companies, emergency personnel, generator suppliers, regulators and government officials.

Right now, they are keeping an eye on Jose, as it approaches the USA, causing high waves along Georgia and SC coastline.

Hurricane Irma was the strongest storm to hit Florida in more than a decade.

A state spokesperson said the canoe is still being evaluated, but they've already noticed square nails, remnants of paint chips and the fact that it was likely buried and unexposed to the elements in the river. "Cut nails were first in production in the early 19th century so that helps to indicate it is a historic canoe", said Sarah Revell, spokeswoman for the Florida Division of Historical Resources.

Hurricane Irma is officially responsible for the deaths of 34 people in Florida, but as reports continue to trickle into state agencies, the toll will continue to rise, authorities say.

"I can't think of anything worse than government being more involved in your health care, rather than less involved", she said. Due to the devastating effects of Hurricane Irma, Floridians should be focused on getting back to their normal lives without their insurance premiums being increased.

About 10,000 homes in the Florida Keys are uninhabitable following the storm, which is about 20 percent of all homes in Monroe County. But now will you be asked to pay for the fix work?

However, the emergency DEP order is set to expire October 4, and it may not apply to all 67 counties in Florida.