Nearly 2.2 Million Cubic Yards of Hurricane Debris and 18,854 White Goods Have Been Removed from Along Keys Roads

January 4, 2018

Since Category 4 Hurricane Irma struck on Sept. 10, 2017, more than 2.2 million cubic yards of hurricane debris — both vegetative and construction/demolition (C&D) — and more than 18,854 destroyed white goods (large appliances) have been removed along roads throughout the Florida Keys.

The collection of hurricane debris continues along U.S. Highway 1 (the Overseas Highway) and on county and private roads from mile marker 16 to 40 in the Keys, and along roads on Duck Key, Conch Key and the City of Layton.

The breakdown to date:
Unincorporated Monroe County (along county and private roads) and along City of Layton municipal roads, 1,277,750 cubic yards of hurricane debris and more than 8,456 white goods. The county’s contractors collected 808,846 cubic yards and 6,412 white goods of this total and Florida Department of Transportation’s contractors collected 468,904 cubic yards and 2044 white goods. Note: In the hardest hit area between MMs 16 and 40, county and FDOT contractors have combined to collect 799,620 cubic yards of hurricane debris and 3,176 white goods.

Along U.S. 1, 256,404 cubic yards of hurricane debris and about 1,000 white goods. This was collected by Florida Department of Transportation’s contractors.
City of Marathon municipal and private roads: 286,106 cubic yards of hurricane debris and 7,409 white goods. This was collected by the City of Marathon’s contractor.
Village of Islamorada municipal roads, as well as final collection along U.S. 1 in city limits: 214,146 cubic yards of debris and 1680 white goods. This was collected by the Village of Islamorada’s contractor.

City of Key West roads, 146,688 cubic yards of hurricane debris and 309 white goods.

TOTALS FOR THE KEYS TO DATE: 2,181,094 cubic yards of hurricane debris and 17,467 white goods.

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Monroe County Emergency Management to Host a Series of Public Meetings About Hurricane Irma

January 2, 2018

Monroe County Emergency Management will be hosting a series of six public meetings in early 2018 regarding Hurricane Irma.

These meetings are designed to hear from you, the community. Monroe County wants your feedback about what went right and what went wrong before, during and after Hurricane Irma. We also want to hear from you about what can be done better for future storms.

All meetings will be held from 6 to 8 p.m.

Here is the schedule:

Monday, Jan. 8: Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center, 102050 Overseas Highway, Key Largo.

Tuesday, Jan. 9: Founders Park Community Room, 87000 Overseas Highway (next to the pool), Islamorada

Wednesday, Jan. 10: Harvey Government Center, BOCC Room, 1200 Truman Avenue, Key West

Thursday, Jan. 11: Marathon Government Center, BOCC Room, 2798 Overseas Highway, Marathon

Monday, Jan. 15: Keys Community Church, 30300 Overseas Highway (in front of former Habitat ReStore), Big Pine Key

Monday, Jan. 22: Sugarloaf Fire Station, 17175 Overseas Highway, Sugarloaf Key

Press Release: FKAA’s ‘Resolve to Conserve’ Campaign is Here!

December 28, 2017

Let’s kick off the New Year with a simple, cost-efficient and environmentally friendly resolution.  And, in order to make this resolution easily attainable, the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority will even provide you the tools to get the job done.

A great way to reduce consumption, but maintain pressure at the faucet, is to install an aerator.  Aerators are simple, inexpensive devices that screw right into the faucet heads. An aerator uses a mesh screen to divide the water flow into many small streams with air in between. This allows for the feeling of high pressure with less actual water consumption.  Aerators can be used in both the bathroom and the kitchen.

Want more savings?  Install a water efficient showerhead too.  Replacing old, inefficient faucets and aerators with water efficient models can save the average family 700 gallons of water per year, equal to the amount of water needed to take 40 showers. Not only will there be a savings on your water and wastewater bill, but using less hot water means using less energy.

When looking for these products at the store, there is an easy way to insure that you are getting a high performing water efficient fixture: look for the WaterSense label. WaterSense-labeled products are backed by independent, third–party testing and certification and meet EPA’s specifications for water efficiency and exceptional performance.

To help jump start residents’ New Year’s resolutions to conserve, the FKAA will offer conservation kits at their three customer service offices throughout the Keys. The kits include a WaterSense-certified showerhead, a bathroom aerator and a kitchen aerator with a swivel and a pause valve. Supplies are limited.

FKAA Customer Services Office Locations:

Upper Keys Location
Tavernier Office
91620 Overseas Highway
Tavernier, FL. 33070

Middle Keys Location
Marathon Office
3200 Overseas Highway
Marathon, FL. 33050

Lower Keys Location
Key West Office
1100 Kennedy Drive
Key West, FL 33040

Call FKAA Customer Service at 305-296-2454

For more information about water efficient fixtures and to calculate your savings go to

Thursday, Dec. 28, Is the Deadline for Monroe County Residents to Register for FEMA’s ‘STEP’ Program

December 27, 2017

The deadline for homeowners in Monroe County to register for FEMA’s STEP program, which provides up to $20,000 in grant-funded rapid repairs to homes damaged but not destroyed by Hurricane Irma, is Thursday, Dec. 28, 2017.

STEP stands for Sheltering and Temporary Essential Power. The hotline is 1-800-960-5860. It is open Monday through Friday, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. After applying by phone, required documentation can be scanned and emailed to<>.

Information about the STEP program and forms to fill out also are available on the Monroe County website at:

In addition to registering, completed right of entry forms must also be completed and sent by Dec. 28, 2017.

To date, 264 households in Monroe County have registered for the program, with 150 inspections completed and a majority of them moving toward the next step of construction. To date, 5 homes have had the construction completed, and are awaiting final inspections and approvals, and another 8 are under construction. Several other households will soon have construction started.

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FEMA Funding Surpasses $118 Million for Monroe County Hurricane Survivors

December 22, 2017

Monroe County residents impacted by Hurricane Irma have received more than $118 million in federal funding for housing, flood insurance claims and other recovery needs from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Here is a fact sheet regarding the assistance provided in Monroe County:

• Since Hurricane Irma struck the Keys on Sept. 10, FEMA has provided $58.1 million in grants to Monroe County homeowners and renters for uninsured damage to their primary residence and serious losses related to Hurricane Irma.

• Additionally, the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of FEMA, has paid more than $60 million in flood insurance claims for Monroe County policyholders, according to preliminary data.

• The Small Business Administration has approved $130.3 million in low-interest disaster loans for residents and business owners in Monroe County. This includes 1,840 home loans of $98.7 million, 272 business loans of $26.7 million and 71 business Economic Injury Disaster Loans of $4.9 million.

• Anyone with questions about their loan applications can also call the SBA Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 or visit<>.

• While the original program for homeowners and renters deadline has passed, there still is one opportunity for area businesses who are just now realizing they may need working capital to keep their business afloat. The Economic Injury Disaster Loan(EIDL), is available to those businesses who suffered economic injury due to the disaster and applications are accepted until June 11, 2018.

• More than 16,000 Monroe County households have received FEMA grants, which can include money for temporary rental assistance, home repairs and other needs not covered by insurance, such as replacing destroyed personal property.

• More than 9,000 Monroe County households have been provided with rental assistance money from FEMA. Many families received two months of rental assistance. This enables survivors to rent an available rental property and check out of hotels.

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Reminder: No More Debris May Be Deposited on County Roads that Have Received a Final Pass

December 18, 2017

It is now illegal to dump hurricane debris anywhere along U.S. Highway 1 in the Florida Keys or on any Monroe County road that has received a final pass for hurricane debris collection.

In unincorporated Monroe County, hurricane debris collection concluded in November on county roads from Stock Island (MM 4) to Baypoint (MM 15) and on county roads in Key Largo and Tavernier.

A final pass now is being conducted on Duck Key, and the contractor will proceed to Conch Key and the City of Layton shortly. No more debris should be put out on county roads or city streets in those areas.

Illegal dumping is a felony. Law enforcement is actively enforcing dumping laws in the Keys.

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Highlights from the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners Meeting Wednesday, Dec. 13

December 14, 2017

The Monroe County Board of County Commissioners met Wednesday at the Murray Nelson Government and Cultural Center in Key Largo for their last monthly meeting of 2017.

Here are some of the highlights:

Approved Post-Irma Workforce Housing Plan

The BOCC voted 5-0 to approve a post-Irma workforce housing plan that requests funding and support from the State of Florida.The goal is to secure land, funding and regulatory incentives to develop 300 to 400 new units of affordable and workforce housing for residents with incomes averaging 60 percent of the Area Median Income in 2018.

The housing plan, spearheaded by Commissioner Heather Carruthers, offers a set of recommendations for what can be practically accomplished in the next two years to address the immediate need for the rebuilding of affordable/workforce housing in the Florida Keys.

At the November BOCC Special Meeting on Housing Recovery Strategies, preliminary damage assessment results were presented that show 4,156 structures throughout Monroe County were either destroyed or suffered major damage due to Hurricane Irma. These numbers do not include a full accounting of lost mobile homes which served as full-time residences.

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Debris Contractor Begins Final Pass on Duck Key and Is Collecting on County Roads Between MMs 16 and 40

December 13, 2017

Today Monroe County’s hurricane debris contractor DRC Environmental Services began the final pass for Duck Key, Conch Key and the City of Layton. Crews are starting on Duck Key and moving to the other areas. The delay in the final pass in these areas was due to the difficulty of securing a nearby temporary debris management site.

The contractor will be using a section of the Florida Department of Transportation’s right of way along U.S. Highway 1 at mile marker 61 for the temporary debris management site for Duck Key, Conch Key and Layton.

This debris management site is not a dumping site and it remains illegal for anyone to dump debris anywhere along U.S. 1 in the Florida Keys.

DRC is continuing to work on its initial pass in the MMs 16 to 40 area with 17 self-loading trucks collecting construction and demolition debris, white goods (large appliances) and vegetative debris from county roads. The progress to date includes:
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Big Pine Key Disaster Recovery Center to Close Saturday, Dec. 16

December 12, 2017

The Big Pine Key Disaster Recovery Center (DRC) is scheduled to close at 7 p.m. Saturday, Dec.16, .

Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Survivors still needing help may visit any DRC. They can locate the nearest DRC by calling the FEMA Helpline at 800-621-3362 (Voice, 711 or VS) or 800-462-7585 (TTY). Helpline numbers are open 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., seven days a week. A DRC locator can be found at or by using the FEMA App.

The DRC is located at:

Former Bank of America Building
30572 Overseas Highway
Big Pine Key FL 33043

Hours: Monday to Saturday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m.

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Contact Local Officials Before Starting Work on Your Property

December 11, 2017

If you have substantial damage from Hurricane Irma and are rebuilding or making repairs, contact your community’s floodplain management or building officials. Additionally, it is important to get the proper permits for plumbing, electrical system, foundation and structural repairs.

Typically, substantial damage is damage of any origin sustained by a structure where the cost of restoring the structure to its pre-event condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. Definitions of substantial damage differ by community.

Why It’s Important

Whether or not your home has substantial damage may impact the way you need to rebuild. Local officials can help determine the level of damage, the work needed to repair or replace the damaged structure and if additional work will be needed to comply with local codes and ordinances. For example:

• A structure located in a floodplain must be brought into compliance with local regulations if a local official determines it is substantially damaged. Local building departments may have adopted standards higher than FEMA’s that property owners have to comply with when rebuilding.

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