Photos Of The Florida Keys After Hurricane Irma Reveal Unbelievable Devastation
Victims of Hurricane Irma are returning to damage across the state of Florida, but there is one area in particular where the hurricane-force winds and storm surge truly showed their might: the Florida Keys. Not only are all structures considered damaged in the area, but 25 percent of all homes were completely destroyed. Now residents are slowly returning to the chain of islands connected to mainland Florida by U.S. Highway 1. What they're seeing in the post-Irma Florida Keys, as captured in these photos, is truly unbelievable devastation.
There are at least 12 deaths confirmed due to the storm in Florida. That pales in comparison with the 43 seen killed in the Caribbean, but it is still a huge number. "My heart goes out to the people in the Keys," Gov. Rick Scott said on Monday before a large scale response of emergency responders had been able to make it to the area. "There's devastation. I just hope everybody survived. It's horrible what we saw."
Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long, explained to the BBC that "basically, every house in the Keys was impacted." The aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has pulled up alongside the keys, and the military is on the scene to provide support to the relief process. The "humanitarian crisis" in the Keys is very real, and not all of the islands have been photographed yet.
1) Boats Out Of Water
Marinas have seen extensive damage with boats pushed out of water, turned on their sides, and worse.
2) The Road In Is A Mess
Sand is covering many of the highways that connect the Florida Keys to the mainland.
3) Some Stayed Behind
This family calls for help using a makeshift sign.
4) Kitchen Cupboards Barely Hanging On
This home is nearly completely gone, but the range in the kitchen and most of the cupboards remain.
5) Trailer Homes Saw Some Of The Worst Damage
They seem to be easily flipped around.
6) Debris Everywhere
Parts of homes have come down on cars, but more tellingly there is debris scattered in every direction.
7) Boats Moved Inland
The storm surge carried plenty away from the shore.
8) Boats Even Made It To The Highway
Amazingly the electricity polls are still there next to the boat.
9) Trees Came Down Too
This palm tree was uprooted.
11) Homes Like Pancakes
This building seems to be smushed down, and the parking lot is extremely damaged.
13) The Insides Of Homes Are Unrecognizable
The debris looks familiar, but walls, windows, doors, and even floors seem to be blown away.
14) From Above You Sense The Magnitude
These images from above show countless homes that have been affected. Structure after structure.
15) Buildings Sink Into Water
The storm seems to have ruined foundations.
16) Getting The Road Open Is key
Highway 1 is really the only way in or out of the area, and getting it cleared is vital for bringing in relief.
17) Parts Of Roofs Have Collapsed
Some roofs are just missing tiles, but others are half blown off.
19) It's Just Bits & Pieces
Trying to look for your belongings here has to be extremely difficult.
20) Recovering Will Take Time
Those that stayed behind have had to boil water, just as a precaution. There has been spotty cell phone service and limited electricity.
21) Businesses Suffered
This gas station still has the pumps standing upright, but much of the rest of the signage and structure is down.
23) The Military Is Helping Out
In addition to the Navy bringing supplies, the Army National Guard has been dispatched to the area to begin the recovery effort. It makes this FedEx shipping center take logistics to a whole new level.
The devastation in the Florida Keys is incredible, and this may not even be the worst of it.