Closures, Cancellations around the Keys
September 7, 2017
The following is a partial listing of closures and cancellations throughout the Florida Keys due to Hurricane Irma, as provided to The Citizen and Free Press:
MONROE COUNTY SCHOOLS
Monroe County Schools Superintendent Mark Porter announced Tuesday that all schools will be closed until further notice. All meetings, including the school board meeting scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 7, also has been postponed.
For information on the county’s emergency plan, visit http://www.monroecountyem.com and for school updates, visit http://www.keysschools.com and the Facebook page @mymcsd.
Florida Keys Community College will be closed until conditions permit reopening, according to FKCC officials. All classes and services are suspended, and buildings will be locked at all college locations: the Key West Campus on Stock Island, Middle Keys Center in Marathon and Upper Keys Center in Tavernier.
All students, employees, and visitors should check the college’s website, http://www.fkcc.edu for updates. Students are directed to use their D2L accounts for classes. Students and employees must also check their FKCC email and texts for notifications.
Keys Energy Services until further notice.
All bid openings and meetings, including the Utility Board meeting scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13, are also postponed.
KEY WEST INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT
The Key West International Airport will close after Thursday’s three Delta flights until further notice.
The Florida Keys Marathon International Airport will remain open for general aviation until conditions become unsafe to operate.
FLORIDA KEYS NATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGES
The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has closed all facilities and trails and cancelled all planned programs in the Crocodile Lake National Wildlife Refuge on Key Largo, the National Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key and the Key West and Great White Heron National Wildlife Refuges in the Lower Keys due to Hurricane Irma.
Updates regarding reopenings will be announced through the website at http://www.fws.gov/nationalkeydeer/, as well as local print and radio press releases and our Facebook page.
For information, call Dan Clark at 305-872-2239, Ext. 209 or Christine Ogura at 305-872-2239, Ext. 226 and follow Refuge updates on our website and Facebook page at http://www.fws.gov/refuge/National_Key_Deer_Refuge/About_the_Complex.html and https://www.facebook.com/floridakeysrefuges
The Lower Keys Medical Center began evacuating patients Wednesday in a North Carolina National Guard C-130. The patients were taken by Monroe County Fire Rescue and Key West Fire Rescue to Naval Air Station Key West’s Boca Chica Airfield and transported to Gadsden Regional Medical Center in Alabama.
Monroe County’s two other hospitals, Mariners Hospital in Tavernier and Fishermen’s Hospital in Marathon, also closed Wednesday and evacuated patients.
Wesley House Family Services are closed until further notice.
For information, visit http://www.wesleyhouse.org or the organization’s Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/WesleyHouseFamilyServices.
All Tom Thumb convenience stores and gas stations in the Keys closed Wednesday at 4 p.m. All Circle K’s are already closed in the Keys. All other chains and independent dealers remained open at press time.
Monroe County’s three transfer stations will close at 2 p.m. Thursday. Trash, recycling and yard waste haulers will continue regular collections until that time. There will be no special collections at this time.
The Department of Environmental Protection’s Florida Park Service announced the closure of one state park and all campgrounds in the Florida Keys in preparation for imminent weather conditions including strong winds and rain.
Fort Zachary Taylor Historic State Park in Monroe County is closed until further notice. State park campgrounds at Bahia Honda State Park, Curry Hammock State Park, John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park and Long Key State Park are closed.
Additional park closures are anticipated depending on Irma’s tracking.
All cruise ships ports are cancelled through Tuesday.
Based on the expectations of the current track, FIU will open a shelter for special needs people in Monroe County at 10 a.m. Thursday. People must register on the Monroe County Special Needs at http://www.monroecounty-fl.gov/index.aspx?nid=148.
Also based on expectations of the current track, FIU will open a shelter for general population of Monroe County at 4 p.m. Thursday. This should be a last resort. People should bring their own bedding, food, medication and toiletries. For what to bring at a shelter, go to http://www.monroecountyem.com/index.aspx?nid=120.
Monroe County’s pet-friendly, general population shelter will be at the E. Darwin Fuchs Pavilion at the Miami-Dade County Fairgrounds and Exposition and open at 5 p.m. Pet owners should bring the pet’s food, medications and vaccination records.
The Park and Ride on Caroline Street and the Angela Street lot will be closed to the public to store heavy equipment, and permits will not be honored for either lot, according to Parking Director John Wilkins.
KEY WEST BUSINESSES AND ATTRACTIONS
The following are closed until further notice beginning today: Home Depot, Walgreens, CVS, Fausto’s, Key West Chamber of Commerce, Tropic Cinema, Florida Keys Eco-Discovery Center, Key West Art and Historical Society museums, Books & Books, The Studios. Publix Supermarkets will close at noon Thursday; Winn-Dixie has yet to decide. Banks Keys Federal Credit Union, First State Bank of the Florida Keys and Bank of America also are closed.
AARP events scheduled for this week are postponed to the following week.
Islamorada’s village government offices are closed until further notice. The local parks also followed suit, including Founders Park marina and public boat ramp, which will have a locked gate.
Islamorada’s emergency management operations team will remain in place at least until Friday, according to Village Manager Seth Lawless.
A representative with Forest Tek Lumber in Islamorada said the hardware store would likely be closed through the weekend starting Thursday, Sept. 7.
The Trading Post grocery store in Islamorada will be open Thursday and possibly through Friday afternoon as long as staff is available, according to a representative. Also, Kmart in Key Largo is planning on remain open Thursday for a portion of the day, and Publix in Key Largo will close at 6 p.m. Thursday.