The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service completed post-Irma Key deer index surveys in the animal’s core habitats on Big Pine and No Name keys Driving survey work following procedures used since 1968 began immediately upon the return of refuge staff from mandatory evacuation and continued for several weeks.
“These Key deer and the natural habitat they depend on are pretty resilient. First they made it through the New World screwworm infestation last year and now through the direct hit of a Category 4 hurricane. We are happy to report Key deer population numbers are well within the range we observed before Irma,” said Refuge Manager Daniel Clark.
The driving surveys provide an index to Key deer population size and serve to inform managers on population trends and overall status. Prior to Hurricane Irma, density estimates were routinely obtained using these same standardized methods. After Irma, increased numbers of surveys were conducted to ensure an accurate estimate of the population since there are an increased number of response and recovery vehicles on the roads as well as piles of debris.
The most recent estimate collected prior to Hurricane Irma determined approximately 1,100 Key deer occupied the core range on Big Pine and No Name keys. Survey estimates post-Hurricane Irma suggest 949 Key deer live in these same areas. Key deer are now in the mating season and healthy, active deer are readily seen in the core area. So far the refuge has positively confirmed 21 storm-related Key deer deaths. Since the storm, the Refuge has documented 12 deer deaths from vehicle collisions, up slightly from this time during previous years. The Refuge encourages visitors, contractors and residents to drive slowly and safely from Big Pine Key to Sugarloaf to protect Key deer and other wildlife.
more “Press Release: Key Deer Population Makes it Through Another Major Incident”
The Disaster Recovery Center in Key West at the Key West Fire Station #2 closed Tuesday, Oct. 17 and will reopen at a new Key West location, 3126 Flagler Ave., Thursday, Oct. 19.
Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small business owners. Recovery specialists from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Small Business Administration and the state of Florida are available to provide assistance to anyone needing help completing aid applications or updating their status.
Voluntary organizations also are available at the DRC and offer a variety of services to help survivors recover.
CLOSED: Tuesday, Oct. 17, Key West Fire Station #2, 616 Simonton St.
REOPENING: Thursday, Oct. 19, at 3126 Flagler Ave. HOURS: 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., seven days a week until further notice.
The No Open Burning Ban instituted by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners on Sept. 19, 2017, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma remains in effect.
However, due to special circumstances, open burning is permitted within the jurisdiction and authority of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection at Bahia Honda State Park.
The park sustained major destruction of its vegetation and structures. Most of the road along Sand Spur Beach was heavily damaged. The picnic structures and bathrooms are not salvageable. Foundations were moved several yards from their original locations.
The park has an overwhelming amount of vegetative debris, which includes poison wood and other potentially hazardous native and non-native vegetation. FDEP requires special permitting for transportation of hazardous vegetation out of the county. The cost is prohibitive and the special permitting was not approved.
more “Special Burning Permitted for Bahia Honda State Park and Debris Management Sites”
FEMA’s Mobile Disaster Assistance Teams are canvassing neighborhoods in Marathon (Yellow Tail Road heading east), Stock Island (addressing Haitian communities) and Tavernier (various neighborhoods heading south).
The teams operate from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
These mobile teams carry iPads and can register survivors for FEMA assistance for the first time at their doorstep. They have limited ability to help people update their accounts.
Please Note: Mobile teams will wear FEMA vests, have proper identification and never ask for money.
Citizens Insurance is providing in-person service to Keys residents at a variety of locations.
For additional information, please see the flyer below.
Citizens Post-Irma Claims Support_(10-11-17)
To make your visit more efficient, bring the following information, if available. Volunteers can assist you in locating this information if you have a photo ID and insured property address:
• Policy information
• Current contact information
• Date of loss
• Description and photos of damage (if possible)
Additional information is available on Citizens website at https://www.citizensfla.com/. Citizens representatives also are available 24/7 to handle claims calls at 1.866.411.2742
Are you a small business owner and need help following Hurricane Irma?
In Monroe County, there are two Business Recovery Centers, run by the U.S. Small Business Administration. They are located at:
• Greater Marathon Chamber of Commerce, 12222 Overseas Highway
• Big Pine Key Community Park, 31009 Atlantis Drive.
Monroe County will host a community meeting to provide information and answer questions about the recovery efforts for Hurricane Irma, which struck the Florida Keys one month ago.
Hurricane Irma Recovery Community Meeting
When: Friday, Oct. 13
Time 4 p.m.
Where: Keys Community Church, 30300 Overseas Highway, Big Pine Key
Who: Monroe County Mayor George Neugent; Assistant County Administrator Kevin Wilson; Assistant County Administrator Christine Hurley; Erin Muir, Rep. Holly Raschein aide; Kent Nelson, Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority and Deputy Director of Utility Operations; Julie Cheon, FKAA public information officer; Mark Landry with the Federal Emergency Management Agency; and others.
MONROE COUNTY, FL – Monroe County has completed a Preliminary Damage Assessment of residential structures in unincorporated Monroe County due to Hurricane Irma.
The Preliminary Damage Assessment results estimate the following:
• 3,884 unaffected structures;
• 10,009 affected structures (this can include just landscaping damage);
• 2,739 minor affected structures;
• 583 majorly affected structures; and
• 675 destroyed structures
These preliminary damage assessments are done visually from the street. The information is provided to FEMA to help the federal agency implement FEMA Individual Assistance to the community.
These figures do NOT include assessments from the Keys’ five municipalities of Key West, Marathon, Islamorada, Key Colony Beach and Layton.
This also is NOT data the County has obtained from more detailed safety inspections, used for placarding buildings. That data will be released at a later date. For the safety inspections, the County rechecks those structures designated as Major Damage or Destroyed for placarding.
Also, Substantial Damage Inspections related to flooding – which are separate from this Preliminary Damage Assessment – have just begun to take place in unincorporated Monroe County. These inspections are required by floodplain regulations as a condition of eligibility for County residents to participate in the federally subsidized National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The Florida Unified Command that includes the U.S. Coast Guard, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is providing a service for boat owners allowing them to relinquish ownership of their damaged vessel to facilitate a quicker response to pollution and safety concerns in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Owners of displaced vessels who lack the resources to have their boat repaired or if their vessel is determined to be beyond repair, may hand over ownership of their vessel through a waiver provided by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, available through the Vessel Removal Hotline at 305-985-3744.
“If a vessel owner knows that they do not have the financial means to take responsibility for their vessel and would like to turn over their ownership, completing the waiver allows the FWC to quickly dispose of it for them,” said FWC Capt. Jay Marvin, State On-Scene Coordinator. “Eliminating the time to salvage and then store a vessel when the owner does not want to recover it will enable us to remove vessels more quickly from Florida’s waterways.”
The waiver process can be initiated by contacting FWC through the Vessel Removal Hotline and requesting to turn over a displaced vessel. An FWC representative will then contact the owner to explain the waiver process and facilitate the turnover of ownership.
There are two types of in-person FEMA Disaster Assistance now available in Monroe County.
Mobile Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams: These mobile teams carry iPads and can register survivors for FEMA assistance for the first time at their doorstep. They have limited ability to help people update their accounts. Please Note: Mobile teams will wear FEMA vests, have proper identification and never ask for money.
These locations vary. Today, Disaster Survivor Assistance Teams are in Key Largo and on Ramrod Key.
Disaster Recovery Center: Disaster Recovery Centers offer in-person support to individuals and small businesses. Recovery specialists from FEMA, the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA), and the State are available to provide assistance to anyone with filling out applications or updating their status
Disaster Recovery Centers – with hours of 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. – now are located at the following four locations”
MARATHON: Marathon Park, 3911 Overseas Highway,
ISLAMORADA: Fire Station #20, 81850 Overseas Hwy
BIG PINE KEY: Big Pine Key Community Park, 31009 Atlantis Dr.
KEY WEST: Fire Station #2, 616 Simonton St.
more “MDSA Teams in Key Largo and Ramrod Key”