Hurricane Irma Recovery
Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys on Sept. 10, 2017 as a category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 132 mph and storm surge up to 8 feet in the hardest-hit areas in the Lower and Middle Keys. Due to the linear geography of the island chain, some parts of the Keys were hit harder than others. Hurricane Irma’s eye made landfall over Cudjoe Key. NOAA’s Hurricane Irma Summary.
According to the Monroe County Medical Examiner, in the Florida Keys, three victims drowned during the hurricane and another 14 people died due to hurricane-related causes, including being unable to obtain life-saving medical treatment. More than 40 injuries were reported after the storm.
While Monroe County was responding to the aftermath of the hurricane in the weeks following the storm, some departments in the County were beginning to focus on post-disaster redevelopment. That focus has continued and will continue to help its residents and business owners recover.
With a full range of federal, state, local, non-profit, and philanthropic dollars available to this disaster-devastated region, Monroe County is looking to provide a communitywide, unified vision for a safer, more resilient Florida Keys.
Extensive funding activities with tight timelines have been announced. More information about these funds can be found here: May 2020 Newsletter or in the menu items.
Approximate Damage Assessment Results
The Approximate Damage Assessment Results from Hurricane Irma detail 1,179 homes were destroyed throughout the Keys, and another 2,977 homes suffered major damage of the 55,000 housing units in the Keys.
Of these numbers, the hardest-hit areas were the mobile homes, manufactured homes, and RVs. The approximate damage assessment results for these types of homes include 378 suffering major damage and 666 destroyed.
In unincorporated Monroe County, approximately 727 homes were destroyed and another 1,034 homes are considered to have substantial damage, bringing the total number of homes that need to be rebuilt to 1,761.
Hurricane Irma dramatically demonstrated the benefit of investment in a hardened infrastructure. The primary roadway system, water, and wastewater systems remained largely resilient to these natural forces. The electrical grid and the communications system, however, remain highly vulnerable to wind and storm surge.
More information on hurricane preparedness and recovery can be found at www.monroecountyem.com.