Officials: Florida Keys Destruction From Irma Is Staggering - - Tulsa, OK - News, Weather, Video and Sports - |


Officials: Florida Keys Destruction From Irma Is Staggering

Posted: Updated:
CBS News CBS News
CBS News CBS News
CBS News CBS News
MIAMI, Florida -

Hurricane Irma's destruction in the Florida Keys -- population 75,000 -- is staggering.

FEMA reported on Tuesday that Hurricane Irma destroyed a quarter of houses in the Keys. Nearly two-thirds have major damage.

President Trump is going to Florida Thursday to see for himself what Irma did to the state.

The storm is blamed for at least six deaths in Florida, three in Georgia and four in South Carolina.

In Ramrod Key, just east of where Irma first made landfall Sunday morning, it is miles of destruction, CBS News' Elaine Quijano reports.

House after house, block after block, roofs are torn off, boats are on the road, and RVs are mangled in trees.

After Irma's path of destruction cut through the Keys, residents in Islamorada who didn't evacuate came out to look at the damage.

"This was a big part of my life. For 15 years, I've lived here and it's just, you know, in one moment it's gone. It's hard to figure it out where you are going to start over," said one resident.

The Florida Keys stretch for 112 miles. But, citing safety concerns, officials are only allowing residents who evacuated to return to just the first 33 miles.
Those who did evacuate are trying to get in. At a checkpoint near the Upper Keys, residents slept in their cars and waited for hours just to see if they still have a home.

As anxious residents lost patience, tensions climbed.

"I have water, I have food, I have dogs, and I can't get to my house!" one homeowner said to officers at the checkpoint. "Twenty miles away!"
Sam Nuccio drove down to check on his house in Big Pine Key, but was told to turn around.

"We can't get in the way of emergency vehicles and cleanup crews and everything like that," Nuccio said. "I believe that's what's going on."
In the Lower Keys, it is not clear when residents who evacuated will be allowed to return to their homes. With one look at one Ramrod Key neighborhood, it's easy to understand why: Residents reported multiple tornado warnings when Hurricane Irma's eye passed overhead, leading to the destruction of homes throughout this area. 

At Big Pine Key, just west of Marathon, the monster storm's Category 4 winds, churning 130 mph, shredded one neighborhood, CBS News' Mark Strassmann reports. It turned a trailer park upside down, and stacked RVs as though a child had tossed toys across the room. 
A boatyard was turned into a jumble of insurance claims.

There is almost no power, no water. By any measure, especially in the Lower Keys, it is a housing and humanitarian crisis that will go on for weeks. The Keys, which largely emptied out ahead of the storm, will remain desolate until that water and power is restored. 

Special Features

Live Traffic

Get the latest road conditions on Green Country roadways.

iPhone App

Get breaking news, weather, sports & video directly on your iPhone.

CBS Shows

Watch your favorite CBS shows for free online.


Looking for a website or event you heard mentioned on News On 6? Find it here!

TV Schedule

Need to know what's on TV? Check out our television schedule.

Live Radar

WARN Interactive

Special Coverage

  • Bridge Tracker

    How safe are Oklahoma's bridges? Use Bridge Tracker to find out now.

  • Fallen Heroes

    News On 6 honors our fallen Oklahoma heroes. View our interactive timeline.

  • Murrah Bombing Timeline

    Learn more about the events leading up to and following the bombing.

  • Storm Zone

    Watch tornadoes tear across Oklahoma and learn how to stay safe!

Powered by Frankly
News On 6
303 N. Boston Ave.
Tulsa, OK 74103 is proud to provide Oklahomans with timely and relevant news and information, sharing the stories, pictures and loves of Oklahomans across our great state.
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 KOTV. Oklahoma Traveler™ is a registered trademark of Griffin Communications. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.