US In Irma’s devastation, Keys residents see loss and luck

10:25  14 september  2017
10:25  14 september  2017 Source:   USA TODAY SPORTS

Tales of sandbags, lifeguards and a monkey — Miami Beach battens down

  Tales of sandbags, lifeguards and a monkey — Miami Beach battens down Genaro Dacosta has a monkey on his back, at least sometimes. It's a small pet marmoset that may force him to ride out Hurricane Irma, now lumbering toward his home on Miami Beach. Dacosta wants to evacuate, as the government has ordered and as most of his neighbors were doing Thursday. He's been frantically calling authorities in Tallahassee, the state capital, to get permission to bring the monkey to a shelter. So far, no luck. Hotels aren't keen on allowing monkeys, either. So on Thursday morning, Dacosta found himself, with his family, loading sandbags into the back of his pickup.

“There’ s devastation ,” Scott said after flying over the Keys with the Coast Guard. “I just hope everybody survived. It’ s horrible what we saw .” Most Keys residents had followed mandatory evacuation orders, but there were some holdouts who had to hunker down as Irma slammed into the

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Bill Quinn talks about how big his field of debris is as he searches for anything salvageable from his long time family owned mobile home that was destroyed. He stands on the foundation where it once stood. Sea Breeze RV and Mobile Home Park in Islamorada, FL, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Many of the Mobile home owners were in the park trying to salvage anything they could from their homes on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Some of the mobile homes were flooded, moved, or completely destroyed.© Andrea Melendez/The News-Press Bill Quinn talks about how big his field of debris is as he searches for anything salvageable from his long time family owned mobile home that was destroyed. He stands on the foundation where it once stood. Sea Breeze RV and Mobile Home Park in Islamorada, FL, was devastated by Hurricane Irma. Many of the Mobile home owners were in the park trying to salvage anything they could from their homes on Wednesday, September 13, 2017. Some of the mobile homes were flooded, moved, or completely destroyed.

ISLAMORADA, Fla. — Bill Quinn grabbed the essentials: a guitar, a keyboard, family photos and artwork, pottery pieces. He thought once Hurricane Irma was done wreaking havoc he still would play the drum set he left in his waterfront mobile home.

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Amid Hurricane Irma ’ s devastation , Florida Keys residents see loss and luck . Two days after Hurricane Irma engulfed the entire state of Florida with deadly winds and rains, residents are only beginning to assess the …

The drum set disappeared. So did most of Quinn's home, its frame blown apart, leaving only a concrete pad. His bathroom sink sat on the side of U.S. 1 on a pile of seaweed and rubble. His boat engine remained tied up to a docking station behind what was once his trailer. Its frame landed in someone else's yard, he said.

As Quinn, a carpenter, stood on the blue concrete pad, he described what his home used to look like.

"That was my living room," said Quinn, 48, pointing to a corner. "This was my kitchen."

Florida Keys residents were allowed to return home Tuesday after evacuating, but the Lower Keys were still out of reach for some residents. Wednesday was the first day back for some. They had to clear checkpoints, where they had to show proof of residency.

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  'Worst ever seen': European leaders view Irma-hit islands France's president, Britain's foreign secretary and the Dutch king were visiting Caribbean territories on Tuesday that have been hammered by Hurricane Irma, trying to quell accusations by residents that European governments were slow to prepare, slow to react and sometimes even racist in their responses to the devastation. French President Emmanuel Macron's plane brought water, food and tons of medicines and emergency equipment. His first stop was Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France, where he landed on Tuesday morning.Macron was eventually heading to the French-Dutch island of St.

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Quinn's Sea Breeze RV & Mobile Home Park exemplifies Irma's wrath. Many of the mobile homes next to his disappeared, cast away by Category 4 winds, or reduced to wreckage. Residents gathered what was left Wednesday.

Others communities fared better, dealing mostly with fallen trees, debris, loss of phone service and power outages.

'Worst ever seen': European leaders view Irma-hit islands

  'Worst ever seen': European leaders view Irma-hit islands France's president, Britain's foreign secretary and the Dutch king were visiting Caribbean territories on Tuesday that have been hammered by Hurricane Irma, trying to quell accusations by residents that European governments were slow to prepare, slow to react and sometimes even racist in their responses to the devastation. French President Emmanuel Macron's plane brought water, food and tons of medicines and emergency equipment. His first stop was Guadeloupe, an overseas department of France, where he landed on Tuesday morning.Macron was eventually heading to the French-Dutch island of St.

Rick Scott said the storm left " devastation " on the Keys , which were under mandatory evacuation orders during Irma . Officials finally this morning opened entry into the Upper Keys for residents in Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada, up to mile marker 73, allowing residents to return home and see

Rick Scott flew over the Florida Keys Monday and said he witnessed " devastation ," a day after the 110-mile chain of islands was hit by Hurricane Irma . Frustrations were building near the entrance to the keys as residents tried to return to their homes. Marc Serota, who fled his home in Tavernier with

Picking up the pieces

Quinn sheltered in a hurricane-proof room in an adjacent concrete home. He said he didn't expect to see this much damage at Sea Breeze. Many trailers were so devastated they can't be repaired.

Tom Haddican, 67, lost two mobile homes and estimated his losses will total about $100,000. Irma tossed one of them about 60 feet before it landed in the middle of a road. Its walls, furniture and cabinets are mostly destroyed. He and wife Beverly recovered fishing poles, towels that were still dry in a cabinet and a ceramic toddler cup he used as a baby.

"We're finding stuff here and there," Haddican said.

As he assessed the damage to his trailer, Haddican looked down at a wet copy of the book Beach Road by James Patterson and Peter de Jonge, lying on the pavement.

"Oh man, that was autographed," he said.

The ride back home

Islande Dillon left a friend's house in the Fort Lauderdale area Wednesday morning to see her Key Largo home for the first time since she evacuated Thursday. She heard from neighbors the ride back home is emotional.

At 11:49 a.m., she parked her car in front of the two-story concrete house. As she looked at the backyard there were fallen trees, debris and a patio table was hurled against her back metal fence.

A tree on the other side of the fence was uprooted. Yet the dried coconuts her 6-year-old son uses as eggs in a Velociraptor nest when he plays Jurassic Park were left intact.

"Your coconuts didn't move," Dillon said to son James Wegie.

Dillon felt lucky as she unlocked her accordion shutters and ventured inside. There was no water or structural damage. Her furniture was untouched. The chicken she left in the freezer still was cold after thawing when she lost power. She planned to bring it back to her friend's home, where she will stay until power is restored.

"I'm very thankful to survive Irma in the fashion we did," Dillon, 36, said.

The prospect of another hurricane doesn't change how Dillon and mobile home park residents feel about the Florida Keys. It's a price they pay for living in paradise.

"When this doesn't happen, we like to fish. Our friends are down here," Haddican said as he looked at what's left of his Islamorada home. "There's something special about the Keys."

Irma's aftermath: Residents finally returning to Lower Florida Keys .
Residents of the lower Florida Keys were finally allowed to return home Sunday morning after they were forced to flee the wrath of Hurricane Irma. Many have been waiting for local officials to tell them it was safe to come back. Some have no idea what they're coming back to -- for all they know, their home and belongings are gone. Elvira Vega told CNN her family's home on Marathon Key was "done" and she was nervous about returning. Her brother had stayed behind to ride out the storm and had sent Vega pictures of what was left of her family's house."My brother definitely said, 'Do not come home,'" she told CNN.

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