KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) – The Florida Keys have reopened to visitors three weeks after Hurricane Irma’s assault on the island chain.
Local officials designated Sunday for the official return of tourists based on rapid utility restoration and the need to resume the Keys’ tourism-based economy.
Tourism-related jobs account for about 50 percent of the workforce.
Key Largo and Key West were least affected by Irma’s Sept. 10 landfall and have more lodging and attractions open than other parts of the Keys.
The hardest hit area is the Lower Keys, from northeast of Key West to the Seven Mile Bridge. Airline and cruise ship arrivals have resumed into Key West.
Traffic is flowing on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway.
STORIES OTHERS ARE CLICKING ON-
- O.J. Simpson freed from Nevada prison, could move to Tampa Bay area
- Missing Winter Park nanny found dead in Orange County, police say
- Volunteers continue searching for missing Sarasota teen Jabez Spann
- Florida teen accidentally shot by stepfather during heated debate over Trump, situation in Puerto Rico
- La Niña pattern will impact Tampa Bay this fall and winter
- Florida man loses fake eye while surfing
- VIDEO: Marilyn Manson hurt onstage during NYC show
- Tampa jeweler offers to replace missing wedding ring for lineman who worked after Irma
- PHOTOS: Walt Disney World celebrates 46 years