It has been a couple of weeks since Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys, and driving around Key West, one would not be able to tell that the island recently suffered a cat 4 hurricane. But if one were to watch the news, it would be easy to think that the Florida Keys and Key West were wiped off of the face of the map. As a local, this really disturbs and angers me. This type of false reporting drives visitors away, and when a majority of people living in the Florida Keys make their livelihoods off of tourism, that reporting can be even more devastating than the storm itself. Is it really worth sensationalizing the news for ratings, hurting others in the process that have already suffered form property damage and loss of work?
So, what potential visitors to the Florida Keys need to know…
The FloridaKeys are still here!! Yes, some neighborhoods suffer a lot of damage. These were not in Key West, however, but in the more residential islands of Big Pine through Sugarloaf Keys. It will take some time to clean up from this, but we Keys people are hearty and hurricane clean up is nothing new to us. We got this!
The port, airports, and US1 are all opened! No, the bridges and roads were not washed away! You can still get down here by plane, automobile, or even boat! We had our first cruise ship since the hurricane in port this past weekend!
Hotels, stores and restaurants are opened and ready for business. And fishing guides are ready to take you fishing! I spoke to Capt. Steven Lamp of Dream Catcher Charters earlier today and he said that his crew is ready to take clients out for a great day on the water, inshore and offshore. Flats fishing and backcountry fishing should be amazing as this storm has brought in some cooler waters, keeping them from becoming stagnant from the summer heat. He also said that the reef fishing has been great! Capt. Steven took a group out this weekend and they slayed the yellowtail snappers.
While you will likely see a few remnants from the Irma on the island of Key West, such as boats washed up along the shore, the island is already recovering very quickly. Don’t listen to the news hype. Come on down to enjoy the island and help the locals out by staying at one the the hotels, shopping in the stores, eating in the restaurants, and fishing with a guide.
To see what is happening on the island during your visit, check out our Key West Events Calendar to see other upcoming special events. For more information about the fun side of Key West… things to do and see in our island city, go to our Key West Web Site.
Island Genn – Your Key West Concierge