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Hurricane Irma: New Florida Keys photos show paradise destroyed
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Hurricane Irma: New Florida Keys photos show paradise destroyed

VIDEO: Hurricane Irma In The Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma: New Florida Keys photos show paradise destroyed

You can smell Hurricane Irma’s leftovers before you see them in the Florida Keys.

The powerful storm surge that roared over the Middle Keys left the main highway covered in seaweed, tiny crabs, shrimp and fish, now decomposing in plowed mounds by the side of U.S. 1.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: PHOTOS: Paradise lost in Florida Keys

A roadblock at Florida City is preventing anyone but residents from traveling down the single road in and out of the string of tiny islands. But even residents can only go as far as Islamorada until the road is cleared and the Lower Keys bridges are inspected.

Thirty percent of the Upper Keys lacks power, emergency management authorities said after a meeting Tuesday night.

>> More Irma coverage from WFTVAction News Jax and the Palm Beach Post

In the Lower Keys, there is no power at all.

In Key Largo, a few businesses have re-opened. A Winn Dixie. A liquor store. Here and there, a restaurant.

Further down in Islamorada, the damage is more apparent.

>> Hurricane Irma aftermath: Don't have internet, cable or cell service? Here's why

Broken power poles dangle from power lines. By the sides of the road, gumbo limbo trees, denuded of leaves, lie broken and tangled with shredded aluminum, the bimini tops of boats and crab pots meant to catch the upcoming season’s stone crabs.

In spots where U.S. 1 runs close to the ocean, storm surge covered the road with sand, now scraped intro roadside drifts, like the aftermath of a snow storm.

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
A 3-story building on Islamorada-- 12 units in 2 stories with a parking garage underneath, is collapsed into itself after Hurricane Irma Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The storm surge passed over the area and apparently caused the building to collapse. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
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Photos: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys

Photo Credit: Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
A 3-story building on Islamorada-- 12 units in 2 stories with a parking garage underneath, is collapsed into itself after Hurricane Irma Tuesday, September 12, 2017. The storm surge passed over the area and apparently caused the building to collapse. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

In Lower Matecumbe Key, the ocean stormed over the road to Sandy Cove on the Gulf side, smashing the foundation of a three-story apartment building, which then pancaked down on itself, ending up a single story of cracked concrete with the sea still lapping at its destruction. Under it all, the wheels of a car can be seen in what had been the building’s garage.

>> Read more trending news

At Seabreeze Mobile Home Park on Islamorada’s Atlantic side, Billy Quinn stopped his bike on the blue concrete pad where his trailer had stood before Irma rearranged the park’s geography.

“That’s it over there,” said Quinn, a carpenter, who said his family had owned the trailer for 56 years. “The wind and water moved it about 15 feet away.”

He pointed to a rubber hose buried in coral rock pebbles. “That’s my pressure cleaner,” he said, “and my refrigerator is over there and one of my boat’s engines is half in the water.”

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Close

Photos: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys

Photo Credit: Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

Quinn wants FEMA to help clean up the park quickly, so he and the other residents can start cleaning up the Keys.

>> On PalmBeachPost.com: How to apply for FEMA help

The park, once a retiree paradise, was one of only a few places low-income workers could afford in the Keys’ pricey rental market.

“This is low income, workforce housing,” Quinn said. “We’re waitresses, cooks, construction workers. We’re the ones that do the work for the tourists.”

On the other side of the park, Sharon Noeller, a waitress at the Lorelei restaurant, a Keys landmark, started to cry, thinking of the three bins of her daughter’s photos still inside her wrecked trailer.

>> Hurricane Irma damage: How to stay safe from tree, water damage in your home

“This was our little oasis,” she said as her boyfriend, Kevin Collina, salvaged an unbroken glass table top from a pile of storm-tossed belongings. Their master bedroom was down what had been their road.

“We had a little pool and an outdoor shower right on the ocean,” she said.

“Now there’s no place left to go. No place we can afford, anyway.”

Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)
Close

Photos: Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys

Photo Credit: Lannis Waters/The Palm Beach Post
Not much was left of the homes in the Seabreeze Mobil Home Park in Islamorada Tuesday afternoon, September 12, 2017. The storm surge from Hurricane Irma passed over the area and and devastated almost all of the homes. (Lannis Waters / The Palm Beach Post)

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  • Three people were hospitalized and 10 are homeless after a Cincinnati woman and started a house fire instead, authorities said. >> Teen trying to kill bedbug starts fire, causes $300,000 in damage, firefighters sayThe rubbing alcohol — which is extremely flammable — ignited because of a nearby open flame, according to authorities cited by the New York Post. The ensuing fire caused $250,000 in damage to the five-unit multi-family Ohio home. Three people had to be hospitalized for smoke inhalation, according to CBS News. Their injuries are not considered life-threatening. For now, the American Red Cross is assisting and providing housing for those displaced by the inferno, WXIX reported. >> Read more trending news This is the second time that a rubbing-alcohol-fueled fire has burned down a Cincinnati house in as many months. Just after Thanksgiving, a 19-year-old lit a match after dousing a bedbug in rubbing alcohol, causing a fire that did $300,000 in damage to six apartments and left eight people homeless. Cincinnati District 3 Fire Chief Randy Freel told WXIX that people should stay away from any home remedies for bedbugs, especially the more flammable kinds. “Get a professional,” he said. Read more here.
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  • All crimes are bad, but a theft on Saturday at a south Tulsa Walmart can be described as despicable. KRMG has learned someone drove up to the front of the store near 81st and Lewis and stole a Salvation Army donation kettle filled with money.  The thief even got away with the tripod.   Capt. Ken Chapman, area commander of the Salvation Army Tulsa Metro Command, summed up the situation. “They’re literally taking food out of the mouths of people who are hungry,” Chapman said.  “People who need clothing and shelter.”  It's believed the kettle could have had around $800 at the time.  Investigators hope they find a suspect by reviewing surveillance video.   Chapman adds the theft is especially distressing because they are running about 20 percent behind on donations. Anyone with information regarding the theft is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 918-596-COPS.   
  • Get ready for a major change in the weather today. National Weather Service Meteorologist Chuck Hodges says the sun will come out and the forecast is looking gorgeous. “We should bounce back into the 60s,” Hodges said.  “Probably the mid-60s for the high.  It’s going to feel considerably warmer than what we’ve had for the last several days.” The low Sunday night will drop to 33 degrees. Your work week is going to be up and down temperature wise.  Hodges reports we’ll see highs in the 60s and the low 50s.   One thing we won’t have in Tulsa is snow.   “At least looking out at the next seven days, no, we’re looking pretty dry,” Hodges said.   Would you like to see snow in the Tulsa area?  Let us know in the comments.