Sep 11, 2017

‘Devastation’ in the Florida Keys: Here’s what happened when Irma struck

Cudjoe Key, FL
USA
by
David Ovalle, Kyra Gurney, Daniel Chang and Nicholas Nehamas
,
Miami Herald
Robert Phillips looks at the former Key West house of poet and author Shel Silverstein, which was crushed by a falling tree as Hurricane Irma swept through, September 10, 2017. Photo: Charles Trainor, Jr.
Robert Phillips looks at the former Key West house of poet and author Shel Silverstein, which was crushed by a falling tree as Hurricane Irma swept through, September 10, 2017. Photo: Charles Trainor, Jr.

Irma delivered a nasty blow over the weekend to the Florida Keys, the 110-mile, low-lying island chain that ambles southwest from Miami into warm ocean waters. The storm made landfall on Cudjoe at 9:10 a.m. Sunday. All day up and down the Keys, the winds and raging seas flung boats onto land and damaged homes. Fallen trees and live wires blocked roads; debris was scattered like confetti.

Monday afternoon, it wasn’t clear how many people were dead. A car crash killed one manbefore the storm hit. But it seemed likely Irma had taken more lives than that. First responders were only just moving into the Upper and Middle Keys, where the damage was worst, on Monday morning. But Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt described the potential death toll as low, saying he believes so far “it’s in the single digits.”