Published on Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Tourists urged to stay away from Florida Keys

Florida Keys remains a no-go zone for tourists, who are being urged to stay away for the time being.

Some residents have been allowed back to survey the damage wrought by Hurricane Irma but the island chain remains off-limits to visitors.

Tourists have been urged to contact their airlines and hotels to change plans for any immediate trips to the Keys.

Hotels suffered varying degrees of damage, ranging from minimal to severe, and most will only reopen for business once all power, water and communications are restored, tourism officials said in a statement on the website.

Both Keys airports are operational but are being used solely to bring in relief supplies and workers to help with rebuilding.

It is unclear exactly when each area the Keys will be ready to welcome visitors again but Key West city officials said they expect their island will open by the time the annual Fantasy Fest takes place on October 20.

Federal Emergency Management Agency said up to one in four homes throughout the islands are feared destroyed and nearly two-thirds suffered significant damage.

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