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Trump to visit Florida Thursday after Hurricane Irma

14 September 2017

Utility workers fix power lines in Marathon, Florida, after Hurricane Irma. The answer may depend on how you define good news.

Darwin Tabacco, who stayed on Big Pine Key during Irma, is one of the fortunate residents. Roads and airports are cleared but largely restricted to transporting rescuers and relief supplies.

Florida had three deaths.

After flying over the Keys on Monday, the governor described overturned mobile homes, washed-ashore boats and other damage.

Still, Richard Tabacco, whose home saw only minor damage, was in a glass-half-full kind of mood Wednesday. Road repairs were promised in the coming days. But for now, he said he is living in an RV because he doesn't have power or air conditioning. So I got lucky there. The milk is cold again.

One of them was Mary Della Ratta, a 94-year old woman whose photo appeared in Monday's edition of The Daily Item.

But don't be misled by his sunny demeanor. There's nothing here. There's no gas. There's no cell phone service.

"I have no idea, but I'm trying to stay positive", Rose said. In the past three hours, water levels there have risen about 9 feet, the National Hurricane Center said.

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After days of destruction, Irma - the first Category 4 landfall in Florida since 2004 - has dissipated.

Airports in Key West and Marathon, as well as at Naval Air Station Key West, are now operational and receiving emergency resources.

"We're going to Florida very soon", said the president alongside first lady Melania Trump outside the White House on Sunday.

The Jacksonville sheriff's office said more than 350 people had been plucked to safety from floodwaters, and warned people to take heed of any further evacuation orders. There's power lines down all over the place. "Brock" Long, said Tuesday that by initial estimates, a quarter of the homes in the Keys were destroyed and an additional 60 percent damaged.

But Sims, a 15-year resident, isn't anxious about how other Keys residents will fare in the recovery process.

He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned".

"We're not going to wait for anyone to come down here and do it for us - Keys people are pretty resourceful".

Monroe County still has a dusk-to-dawn curfew, and extra law enforcement has been brought in to help with security.

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The storm has killed at least 46 people, the Associated Press reports: 11 died on the USA mainland, including seven people in Florida, two in Georgia and two in SC; at least 35 people died in the Caribbean, the AP reports.

The state's department of transportation has inspected all of the Keys 42 bridges along US 1 and they are all safe for travel.

Thorne said Hurricane Irma was the worst storm she had experienced since moving here from Australia.

Off Florida's southern tip, authorities were stopping people to check documentation such as proof of residency or business ownership before allowing them back into the Upper Keys.

"We continue to acknowledge that our number will come up at some point".

Gas remains scarce in the Keys.

As some Florida Keys residents return to their devastated islands Tuesday, 15 million Floridians are learning when they'll finally get power back. Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon estimates that about 10,000 people remained in the Keys during the storm, according to the Miami Herald.

In the Keys, where the storm roared ashore Sunday morning with winds of 130 miles per hour (209 kph), search crews planned door-to-door checks on residents. Some of the 2,000 National Guardsmen in the Keys are assisting in the latter.

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A lot of policyholders, particularly those who evacuated from the Keys or Southwest Florida, haven't returned to their homes yet, or are still struggling with loss of water and power. People are really filling up, though. "Fuel and communications is the greatest need, and the food's been trickling in".

Trump to visit Florida Thursday after Hurricane Irma