ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

clear-day
66°
Partly Cloudy
H 72° L 56°
  • clear-day
    66°
    Current Conditions
    Partly Cloudy. H 72° L 56°
  • cloudy-day
    65°
    Evening
    Partly Cloudy. H 72° L 56°
  • cloudy-day
    56°
    Morning
    Mostly Cloudy. H 75° L 55°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest newscast

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

Weather
Hurricane Irma: New Florida Keys photos show paradise destroyed
Close

Hurricane Irma: New Florida Keys photos show paradise destroyed

VIDEO: Hurricane Irma In The Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma: New Florida Keys photos show paradise destroyed

You can smell Hurricane Irma’s leftovers before you see them in the Florida Keys.

The powerful storm surge that roared over the Middle Keys left the main highway covered in seaweed, tiny crabs, shrimp and fish, now decomposing in plowed mounds by the side of U.S. 1.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: PHOTOS: Paradise lost in Florida Keys

A roadblock at Florida City is preventing anyone but residents from traveling down the single road in and out of the string of tiny islands. But even residents can only go as far as Islamorada until the road is cleared and the Lower Keys bridges are inspected.

Thirty percent of the Upper Keys lacks power, emergency management authorities said after a meeting Tuesday night.

>> More Irma coverage from WFTVAction News Jax and the Palm Beach Post

In the Lower Keys, there is no power at all.

In Key Largo, a few businesses have re-opened. A Winn Dixie. A liquor store. Here and there, a restaurant.

Further down in Islamorada, the damage is more apparent.

>> Hurricane Irma aftermath: Don't have internet, cable or cell service? Here's why

Broken power poles dangle from power lines. By the sides of the road, gumbo limbo trees, denuded of leaves, lie broken and tangled with shredded aluminum, the bimini tops of boats and crab pots meant to catch the upcoming season’s stone crabs.

In spots where U.S. 1 runs close to the ocean, storm surge covered the road with sand, now scraped intro roadside drifts, like the aftermath of a snow storm.

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
A 3-story building on Islamorada-- 12 units in 2 stories with a parking garage underneath, is collapsed into itself after Hurricane Irma Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The storm surge passed over the area and apparently caused the building to collapse. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Close

Photos: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys

Photo Credit: Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
A 3-story building on Islamorada-- 12 units in 2 stories with a parking garage underneath, is collapsed into itself after Hurricane Irma Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The storm surge passed over the area and apparently caused the building to collapse. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

In Lower Matecumbe Key, the ocean stormed over the road to Sandy Cove on the Gulf side, smashing the foundation of a three-story apartment building, which then pancaked down on itself, ending up a single story of cracked concrete with the sea still lapping at its destruction. Under it all, the wheels of a car can be seen in what had been the building’s garage.

>> Read more trending news

At Seabreeze Mobile Home Park on Islamorada’s Atlantic side, Billy Quinn stopped his bike on the blue concrete pad where his trailer had stood before Irma rearranged the park’s geography.

“That’s it over there,” said Quinn, a carpenter, who said his family had owned the trailer for 56 years. “The wind and water moved it about 15 feet away.”

He pointed to a rubber hose buried in coral rock pebbles. “That’s my pressure cleaner,” he said, “and my refrigerator is over there and one of my boat’s engines is half in the water.”

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Close

Photos: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys

Photo Credit: Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Quinn wants FEMA to help clean up the park quickly, so he and the other residents can start cleaning up the Keys.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: How to apply for FEMA help

The park, once a retiree paradise, was one of only a few places low-income workers could afford in the Keys’ pricey rental market.

“This is low income, workforce housing,” Quinn said. “We’re waitresses, cooks, construction workers. We’re the ones that do the work for the tourists.”

On the other side of the park, Sharon Noeller, a waitress at the Lorelei restaurant, a Keys landmark, started to cry, thinking of the three bins of her daughter’s photos still inside her wrecked trailer.

>> Hurricane Irma damage: How to stay safe from tree, water damage in your home

“This was our little oasis,” she said as her boyfriend, Kevin Collina, salvaged an unbroken glass table top from a pile of storm-tossed belongings. Their master bedroom was down what had been their road.

“We had a little pool and an outdoor shower right on the ocean,” she said.

“Now there’s no place left to go. No place we can afford, anyway.”

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Close

Photos: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys

Photo Credit: Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest Headlines You Need To Know

  • Patrol officers with Mount Dora police are riding around with comfort bears  to hand out to children during certain emergency calls. The bears were made by volunteers who spent 200 hours crafting them from old police uniforms gathered up by Chief John O’Grady. “It’s a wonderful gift and a great use of material. I want to thank the citizens of Mount Dora and our eight volunteers that came forward and put these together for us,” he said. Comfort bears were made back in the 90’s to help children and Chief O’Grady saw that the need is still present today. The first bears will be handed out this weekend.
  • Police in Dunwoody, Georgia, are working to find a boy who stole a Salvation Army kettle. A young boy grabbed the kettle being watched by Todd Copper, who has been collecting money for the Salvation Army for 21 years despite having cerebral palsy and manning his post from a wheelchair. “I sit out here like nine hours, 10 hours a day,” he said. “I’m helping a lot of people who cannot do it on their own.” >> Read more trending news  Tom Copper, his father, said his son has never let his physical limitations hold him back. “Even though he’s in a wheelchair, he believes that he can do things that other people can't,” he said of his son. Todd Copper said he never had a problem at his post at Perimeter Mall until Monday afternoon. “An approximately 10 - 12 year old male approached him, snatched his collection bucket, and took off running,” Sgt. Robert Parsons with the Dunwoody Police Department told WSB.  Police hope surveillance video will help them catch the thief. “He was really distraught,” Tom Copper said. The father said his son continued to take donations after the theft. “He said, ‘No, I want to stay here.’ And even though he didn't have a bucket, people were putting money on his lap,' Tom Cooper said. Police said they are hopeful mall and MARTA surveillance cameras may help catch the suspect.
  • U.S. Rep. Blake Farenthold announced he won’t seek re-election, less than a week after a House committee opened an investigation into sexual harassment claims from a former aide. >> Read more trending news
  • Five years after tragedy struck Newtown, relatives of the victims of the Sandy Hook school shooting are fighting to prevent what happened there from ever happening again.  Thursday will mark five years since 20 first-graders and six adults were shot and killed inside Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newton. >> Read more trending news Nicole Hockley, whose son, 6-year-old Dylan, was killed, spoke to Boston 25 News reporter Robert Goulston about how she helped to release a video calling on people to do more to stop mass shootings. The Sandy Hook Promise video depicts a tragedy similar to the one at Sandy Hook, one day before it happens. “To have it played out as something before a shooting takes place -- it really hammers that message home,” Hockley said. 'The end of the PSA has a little bit of a gut punch but gun violence is not comfortable and as a country, I think we've become a little too comfortable with.” Sandy Hook Promise was co-founded by several families who lost loved ones in the shooting. The PSA was released this week as a way of trying to change behaviors that seem to play out over and over.  “The mass shootings. That tears the scab right off my heart and makes everything incredibly fresh and painful again especially when there’s children involved,” Hockley said. The anniversaries are also incredibly difficult. >> Related: Newtown marks fifth anniversary of deadly Sandy Hook shooting 'The pain, it never goes away. There is no closure on this. There is no moving on,' she said. But she says Dylan is still by her side, keeping focused preventing this violence.  'His legacy lives on through these programs and that's the only way I can think to pay tribute to my little boy,” she said. 'Knowing that we are having an impactm that fuels us. Because that's all we want to do and that helps save lives.' There is no permanent memorial in Newtown. A commission has been working for years to design and pick a location. Recently, a resident donated five acres not far from the school - but they are still working on a design.
  • A 93-year-old Eustis woman was in jail Wednesday night after being arrested for allegedly refusing to leave her home at National Church Residences’ Franklin House after being evicted, police said. >> Read more trending news Juanita Fitzgerald was jailed just days before her 94th birthday on Friday. According to a Eustis Police Department arrest report, Fitzgerald had been “made well aware the day prior of her being evicted (Tuesday).” She was being evicted after falling behind on her rent, police said. When officers arrived at the senior living facility in the 2400 block of Kurt Street, Fitzgerald was in the lobby. “After several times telling Juanita to get her belongings and leave, she refused officers’ commands and stated, ‘Unless you carry me out of here, I’m not going anywhere,’” the report said. Fitzgerald was warned that she would be arrested if she did not leave, but continued to refuse to move. “Juanita still did not listen and refused to leave, stating again to ‘carry me out of here,’” the report said. The 5-foot-tall, 100-pound woman purposefully slid onto the floor as officers tried to escort her from the building and allegedly resisted officers’ attempts to lift her up, investigators said. Fitzgerald was eventually escorted to an officer’s patrol vehicle and taken to the Lake County Jail. The officer noted that due to her age and possibility of injury, Fitzgerald was not handcuffed. The Eustice police report said that Franklin House staff offered to help her move, but she refused. She also refused assistance from the Department of Children and Families, The Homeless Coalition, Department of Elder Affairs and eight other agencies, officers said. Fitzgerald was being held at the Lake County Jail in lieu of a $500 bond on a charge of trespassing.