Key West CitizenSeptember 20, 2017

— FKAA Lifts Boil Water Order For Key West (Sept. 20, 2017, 3:15 p.m.)

The Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority has lifted the boil water order for Key West.

 

— FKCA Opens Hurricane Emergency Fund (Sept. 20, 2017, 12:00 p.m.)

The Florida Keys Council of the Arts will open the organization’s Hurricane Emergency Fund for Monroe County artists and cultural organizations directly affected by Hurricane Irma. The application will be available when the Council is able to re-open for business. Meanwhile, artists and cultural groups may send an email to info@keysarts.com indicating their interest in receiving an application.

Donations to support relief efforts for Keys artists and organizations can be made online at www.keysarts.com. When making a donation, please type “Hurricane Fund” in the “Business/Organization” section on the FKCA donation page. Checks may be sent to The Florida Keys Council of the Arts, 1100 Simonton Street, Key West, Florida 33040.

 

— Monroe County BOCC Regular Meeting Date Changed (Sept. 19, 2017, 10:00 p.m.)

MONROE COUNTY, FL – The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners regular monthly meeting is being moved from Sept. 20 to Sept. 27 due to the recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma.

The meeting begins at 9 a.m. and will be at the Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center at MM 102 in Key Largo. There also is a special budget meeting now scheduled for Sept. 27 at 5 p.m. at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave., in Key West.

 

— Key West Drinking Water Could Be On Tomorrow (Sept. 19, 2017, 6:00 p.m.)

Drinkable tap water could be available in Key West as soon as Wednesday depending on test results, according to Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority officials.

On Tuesday, the boil water advisory was lifted for Stock Island and Key Haven and FKAA officials are awaiting results from total and fecal coliform tests to approve the water in Key West, according to spokesperson Julie Cheon.

In order to clear a water line, officials must take multiple samples throughout the system and find no evidence of the coliform bacteria’s for two consecutive days. The samples must incubate for 24 hours for proper analysis and workers are currently on the second day of testing for Key West water, Cheon said.

“We want to make sure there’s no coliform in the line whatsoever,” Cheon said. “If those samples come back clear then we can clear a line.”

While Key West may be close to taking another step toward normalcy, some areas of the keys remain without any running water, Cheon said.

Running water under advisory is currently on from Key West to Bay Point and from Marathon to the Ocean Reef Club in Key Largo and the boil advisory has been lifted for a section of the upper keys, she said.

The test results for Key West have tested negative for the presence of bacteria so far and Cheon said she feels “pretty good” about the remaining tests.

 

— Key West Offering Permits With No Fees (Sept. 19, 2017, 6:00 p.m.)

The City of Key West Building Department is issuing emergency permits with fees waived through Friday to allow residents to begin the repairs to property damaged by Hurricane Irma.

Officials have issued approximately 60 permits so far, primarily for roofing work but also to replace raisers and electronic amplification boxes, according to Licensing Official Peg Corbett.

Normally permit fees vary and are based on the valuation of the work being done. The emergency permits are free but don’t constitute building permits and are only being issued for damage directly related to Irma, Corbett said.

On Tuesday, a meeting was held with local contractors to inform them of the process for applying for the emergency permits. Any unlicensed contractor will be prosecuted if found doing work in Key West, according to city officials.

The emergency permits will be available until Friday at 5 p.m.

 

— Emergency Work Exempt From Permitting And Emergency Permits (Sept. 19, 2017, 1:30 a.m.)

The Mayor of Monroe County has announced that certain work will be temporarily exempt from requiring a permit. County officials are working to help restore local homes and businesses as quickly as possible to a safe condition.

A copy of the official order is available here.

 

— Monroe County Planning & Environmetnal Resources Department Shifts Focus And Cancels Three Upcoming Meetings (Sept. 19, 2017, 1:30 a.m.)

MONROE COUNTY, FL – When the Monroe County offices open on Monday, Sept. 25, 2017, the Planning & Environmental Resources Department will be shifting its focus to assist in the processing of emergency building permits.

The department will temporarily suspend the acceptance and processing of the Department’s other applications. This is critical to ensure expedient action on emergency building permits in order to protect the health, safety and welfare of the community.

Additionally, the following public meetings are suspended pending recovery operations:

  • Development Review Committee meeting on Sept. 26, 20717 is cancelled.
  • Planning Commission meeting on Sept. 27, 2017 is cancelled.
  • Historic Preservation Committee meeting on Oct. 2, 2017 is cancelled.

 

— Key West International Airport To Resume Commercial Service Wednesday (Sept. 19, 2017, 1:30 a.m.)

KEY WEST – Monroe County’s Key West International Airport will resume commercial service Wednesday morning, Sept. 20. Commercial flights will be on a limited schedule the first few days.

Contact your airlines for specific information. Also for information, follow the Key West International Airport Facebook page.

The Transportation Security Administration inspected the facility and gave the greenlight to resume commercial service on Tuesday. The airport has been closed to commercial service for 12 days due to Hurricane Irma and the damage the storm caused.

Maintenance crews and Monroe County Fire Rescue Station 7 crews worked to restore the airport, which included cleaning the facility and making repairs. “I’m very proud of the hard work and dedication that the airport maintenance employees have shown over the course of this trying time,” Monroe Conty Airports Director Donald DeGraw said. “We are excited to start commercial service and serve our valued customers.”

 

— Navy provides access to liveaboard vessels today (Sept. 19, 2017, 9:45 a.m.)

Liveaboard boaters whose vessels washed ashore on military property at Fleming Key and Trumbo Point can gain access to their vessels, assess damage and retrieve belongings this afternoon (Tuesday, Sept. 19).

Vessel owners and residents are instructed to meet between 2 and 4 p.m. today (Tuesday, Sept. 19) in the parking lot at the entrance to Trumbo Point on Palm Avenue.

 

— Keys Open To All Traffic Tuesday at 7:30 a.m. (Sept. 18, 2017, 10:00 p.m.)

The Keys will reopen to all vehicular traffic at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow (Tuesday). There will no longer be a checkpoint at Florida City. While the Keys are open, 21 neighborhoods in the hardest hit areas in the corridor between Marathon and Key West will be blocked to everyone other than residents with proof of residency in that location. These neighborhoods include:

District 1 – Big Pine Key to Stock Island

  • Long Beach Road 33MM
  • Key Deer Boulevard / Wilder Road 30.5MM
  • New Found Harbor 30MM
  • Ship’s Way 29.5MM
  • Barry Avenue / Pirates Road 28.5MM
  • State Road 4A 28MM
  • West Indies Drive 27.5MM
  • East & West Shore Drive 25MM
  • Caribbean Drive 24.5MM
  • Spanish Main Drive 23MM
  • Ocean & Cutthroat Drive 22.75MM
  • Drost Drive 21MM
  • Crane Boulevard 19MM
  • Sugarloaf Boulevard 17MM
  • South Pointe Drive 16.5MM
  • East & West Circle Drive 15MM
  • Blue Water Drive 14.5MM
  • Boca Chica Road 11MM
  • Active Patrol – Blue Water Drive to Long Beach Road
  • Active Patrol – West Indies Drive to Ramrod Key
  • Active Patrol – Stock Island to Big Coppitt Key

District 4 & 5

  • Coral Key 63MM
  • Duck Key 60MM
  • Coco Plum Drive 54MM
  • Sombrero Beach Road / Anglers Drive 50MM
  • Sombrero Boulevard / 53rd Street 50MM

 

— Cash Donations Preferred to Support Hurricane Relief Effort (Sept. 18, 2017, 1:00 p.m.)

While residents of the Florida Keys are grateful for the outpouring of donations of clothing, food and other items from across the U.S., the hurricane relief response team is having to dedicate scarce resources to processing and storing these goods. At this time, they are requesting that those wanting to assist with the relief effort make cash donations to established relief organizations. These donations will help agencies purchase precisely what the community needs.

For a list of organizations to donate to go to keysrecovery.org.

 

— Electric Service Interrupted to Homes and Businesses South of Islamorada (Sept. 18, 2017, 9:30 a.m.)

Today beginning at 8 a.m., electric service will be interrupted to homes and businesses south of Islamorada. The power interruption is necessary so lineman can safely work on damaged power lines and otherwise fortify the electric grid. The outage will last approximately 4 hours. Most essential services (including hospitals and shelters) will switch to backup generator power during the event. Visit keysrecovery.org for any updates.

 

— Monroe County Has Changed Curfew Hours For Middle Keys: Now 10 P.M. To Sunrise (Sept. 17, 2017, 5:00 p.m.)

MONROE COUNTY, FL — By order of Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay, all of Monroe County remains under a curfew for safety and security reasons. The checkpoint for entering the Keys, at Florida City, will close at 8 p.m. to ensure everyone has enough time to get to their destination before the curfew.

In the Upper Keys and Middle Keys, to mile marker 47 (north end of the Seven Mile Bridge), the curfew is 10 p.m. to sunrise. In the Lower Keys and Key West, it remains dusk to dawn. Anyone out after the designates times is subject to arrest.

— Coast Guard Announces Rules for Marine Navigation Areas and Safety Zones (Sept. 17, 2017, 5:00 p.m.)

MONROE COUNTY, FL – As part of the Hurricane Irma recovery effort, the U.S. Coast Guard has designated all waters within one nautical mile of land in the Florida Keys as a regulated navigation area.

Any vessel traveling through the navigation area must proceed at a slow speed (fully off plane, completely settled in the water and not creating excessive wake).

In addition, the Coast Guard has established the following safety zones inside the navigation area:

  • All waters within 25 yards of law enforcement or salvage vessels, and
  • All waters with 25 yards of visible wreckage.

Entry into, anchoring, loitering or movement within the Safety Zone is prohibited unless authorized by the Captain of the Port Key West or his designee.

Rules for the regulated navigation area will be in place until Oct. 1. For more information, call the Emergency Operations Center Public Information Line at 800-955-5504. keysrecovery.org facebook.com/MonroeCountyFLBOCC/ @monroecounty #keysrecovery

 

— Monroe County Issued Emergency Water Restrictions (Sept. 16, 2017, 10:45 p.m.)

MONROE COUNTY, FL – Monroe County Emergency Management issued an emergency directive to restrict water use for kitchen needs, showering, washing clothes, toilet flushing and other sanitary uses.

It is prohibited to use Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority-provided water for washing cars, boats, the exterior of house and especially filling swimming pools.

Those in violation will be guilty of a 2nd degree misdemeanor, punishable by 60 days in jail and/or a $500 fine.
The boil water notice is still in effect for all of the Keys.