Florida Keys Temporarily Closes Doors to Visitors Post Hurricane Irma

Key West hopes to have island open again in time for Fantasy Fest in October

We've seen the devastation of the Florida Keys after Hurricane Irma on CNN and the Internet. And we wondered: Just how soon will our favorite island chain recover. The answer is in and it's "not yet."

Keys officials announced Wednesday, Sept. 13, that visitors are being asked to postpone any near-term plans to visit the islands.

"Both Keys airports’ runways are available for aircraft, but commercial service to Key West International Airport has been suspended until electricity and water have been restored," an official statement reads. "Charter and general aviation at Florida Keys Marathon International Airport are suspended until further notice. The airports are being used as incoming staging areas for relief supplies and personnel."

Tourism officials say some islands in the Keys will be ready to handle visitors before others, though exact reopening dates are not yet known. One goal is certain: Key West city officials want their island open again before Friday, Oct. 20, which marks the beginning of its annual Fantasy Fest celebrations.   In the meantime, the Florida Keys are under a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

Keep an eye on fla-keys.com, monroecountyem.com and monroecounty-fl.gov for updates. You can also follow the hashtag #keysrecovery.

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