Commissioner Sam Kaufman’s UPDATE #1 9/17/17 8:30 A.M. EOC Briefing – Hurricane Irma Recovery
DAY 1 OF KEY WEST AND LOWER KEYS RESIDENTS RE-ENTRY!
KEY WEST- Movement of debris is major focus to clear parking for returning residents. FEMA tent going up for residents at Fire Station #2 at Simonton and Angela Streets. EOC is working to close the FIU and Fairgrounds shelters. Return of residents from Fairgrounds and FIU being planned for possible on Tuesday. Working on plan for return of special needs in separate process. Shelter – no ability for residents to bathe – and day #11 of evacuation. Curfew remains in place for Lower Keys and Key West at Sunset – for residents returning today possibly from long distances and returning close or after sunset – question was raised whether Checkpoint may be locked down – according to Sheriff possibly close checkpoint at 5:00 P.M. this afternoon– NOT A FINAL DECISION AT THIS TIME. Debris removal companies have lots of work state-wide and finding difficult to get the resources to Key West based upon contract.
MARATHON – two town hall meetings set for tomorrow – one for the residents and one for contractors. Electric safety checks ongoing.
EOC – logistics team working on donations plan.
KEYS ENERGY- 40% reported energy restoration.
FKAA- water services continue to improve. Same schedule of water delivery to Key West. Water quality testing for the second day – tests are good so far – Boil Notice remains on for the entire Keys.
EOC- SHELTERS- goal is to move residents of the Keys to hotels, goal needs to move workers out of hotels to work camps. Shelters are meant to help residents for days, not weeks. Many residents will return starting today to find that their NEED TO WORK WITH LODGING ASSOCIATION TO REGISTER WITH FEMA TO PARTICiPATE WITH FEMA PROGRAM. No word whether local hotels or lodging industry will or will not participate. The goal is for residents to be able to ride out the recovery time period in hotels while their homes are being repaired. Issue seems that the hotels currently are occupied by relief workers and may not be registered with FEMA.
GREYHOUND BUS- Residents-only will be screened for them to operate. Noon bus route to be run either one route or two. This is pending approval by the EOC, but some Key West residents need this transportation to return.
KW AIRPORT- update expected soon.
LOWER KEYS MEDICAL CENTER – re-opening announcement soon.
(Editor’s Note: LKMC ER is open for urgent care; services are limited, they have been providing helicopter service to the mainland when necessary; FEMA has a medical unit at the community college for non-urgent care. They are working on getting the hospital ack open for in-patient care.)
P.S. Thank you One Human Family for taking care of one another in Key West! I have seen so many acts of kindness. Keep up the our spirit in our hometown! I am very concerned about our neighbors who will find that their homes are uninhabitable. We need to work together to be sure that there are temporary shelters and longer terms housing available. It is such great news that the EOC and hopefully the Lodging Association will work on this for our residents. I am very concerned about how this storm is impacting all of our residents especially our children, elderly and those disabled or with special needs. Stay Tuned as we will have a town hall meeting in Key West soon to address ongoing concerns of our residents.
Samuel J. Kaufman
Commissioner, District 2
City of Key West