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. 

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.

Approximate Damage Assessment Results

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.

Of these numbers, the hardest-hit areas were the mobile homes, manufactured homes, and RVs. 

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 remain highly vulnerable to wind and storm surges.