Monroe County is working with local municipalities and nonprofits to help Keys residents who experienced damage and lost property from Hurricane Ian.
Monroe County officials, along with leaders from the City of Key West, Naval Air Station Key West, Coast Guard Sector Key West, Keys Energy, the Key West Housing Authority and the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority, met Friday afternoon with U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez. Congressman Gimenez viewed storm damage in the Keys and said he has written a letter to President Biden and will call Gov. Ron DeSantis to urge that Monroe County residents receive eligibility for FEMA disaster assistance.
While Hurricane Ian did not make landfall in the Keys, the island chain experienced sustained tropical storm-force winds and a storm surge of three to five feet above the lowest elevation areas. This caused widespread flooding, especially in low-lying parts of Key West and some Key Largo neighborhoods. It also caused an estimated $7 million in damage at the Key West International Airport and an estimated $5 million in debris removal.
Monroe County received a Preliminary Damage Assessment from the City of Key West and has forwarded that data to the Florida Department of Emergency Management to support including the Keys in FEMA disaster assistance.
Small businesses and most nonprofits in Monroe County are eligible to apply for economic injury loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA).
Monroe County is working with the Community Associations Active In Disaster (COAD), a group of Keys-based nonprofits, to coordinate assistance for residents with immediate needs. The United Way of Collier and the Keys, a COAD partner, is compiling Hurricane Ian-specific resources at keyshelp.org.
Pictured: Monroe County Mayor Pro Tem Craig Cates, right, describes Hurricane Ian's impact on the Florida Keys to U.S. Rep. Carlos Gimenez on Friday, Sept. 30, in Key West.