Hurricane Irma damaged 90% of homes in the Florida Keys

With Hurricane Irma safely out of the state, most Floridians have returned home Tuesday, but a majority of those returning to the Florida Keys are coming back to devastating property damage.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency says about 90 per cent of the Keys residents are coming home to property damage. That includes a heart breaking 25 per cent of homes that have been completely destroyed on the archipelago.

Another 65 per cent of homes have sustained at least some damage. Most residents in the Keys are finally getting a chance to survey the damage for the first time as they made their treks back to their homes Tuesday.

Irma first made landfall on Cudjoe Key, about 20 miles east from Key West, homes were ripped open like doll houses. A similar sight befell Plantation Key and Sunshine Key. 

Hurricane Irma's powerful winds sheared off the side of this Cudjoe Key home exposing the inside in Cudjoe Key, Fla, pictured Tuesday. Cudjoe Key was ground zero for Hurricane Irma's eye hitting the Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma's powerful winds sheared off the side of this Cudjoe Key home exposing the inside in Cudjoe Key, Fla, pictured Tuesday. Cudjoe Key was ground zero for Hurricane Irma's eye hitting the Florida Keys

A local resident reacts on Tuesday as she sees the damage on her home after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, in Islamorada Key

A local resident reacts on Tuesday as she sees the damage on her home after Hurricane Irma struck Florida, in Islamorada Key

Remnants of a mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Irma are scattered at Venture Out Condominium Community in Cudjoe Key, Fla 

Remnants of a mobile home destroyed by Hurricane Irma are scattered at Venture Out Condominium Community in Cudjoe Key, Fla 

A sailboat is pushed up between two buildings in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Tuesday in Key West 

A sailboat is pushed up between two buildings in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on Tuesday in Key West 

A destroyed home after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys in Marathon. Many in the area remain under a dawn to dusk curfew

A destroyed home after Hurricane Irma struck the Florida Keys in Marathon. Many in the area remain under a dawn to dusk curfew

Cars line up to return to the Florida Keys on Tuesday in Homestead, Florida. Parts of the lower Keys are still inaccessible because a road was wiped out during the storm 

Cars line up to return to the Florida Keys on Tuesday in Homestead, Florida. Parts of the lower Keys are still inaccessible because a road was wiped out during the storm 

All along the Keys, boats rested next to homes, walls were ripped off houses, and interiors like toilets, sinks and personal items were strewn in the streets.

Meanwhile three quarters of the state is still without power. Electricity isn't just a convenience in the Sunshine State. It's a necessity in the summer when the heat can turn deadly hot. 

And that's just what it's forecast to do this week, with temperatures expected to reach into the 90s. 

The bad news is that an estimated 15million Floridians are still without power, and officials say it could take 10 days or more for it to be fully restored. 

For the most part though, life inched closer to normal in the Sunshine State, with some flights again taking off, many curfews lifted and major theme parks reopening. Cruise ships that extended their voyages and rode out the storm at sea began returning to port with thousands of passengers.

'We've got a lot of work to do, but everybody's going to come together,' Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. 'We're going to get this state rebuilt. This state is a state of strong resilient people.' 

Traffic is seen traveling south on Interstate 95 in Brunswick, Georgia on Tuesday after Hurricane Irma passed through the area

Traffic is seen traveling south on Interstate 95 in Brunswick, Georgia on Tuesday after Hurricane Irma passed through the area

A police officer directs motorists at a checkpoint as Florida Keys residents return to their homes in the upper keys on Tuesday

A police officer directs motorists at a checkpoint as Florida Keys residents return to their homes in the upper keys on Tuesday

More than half the state is still without power, meaning there won't be air conditioning when the weather turns deadly hot this week 

More than half the state is still without power, meaning there won't be air conditioning when the weather turns deadly hot this week 

Wednesday is also shaping up to be a scorcher across Florida, with temperatures nearing the 90s 

Wednesday is also shaping up to be a scorcher across Florida, with temperatures nearing the 90s 

Despite lack of electricity, most Floridians were just happy they were finally able to return home on Tuesday, after several nights holed up in shelters or with friends and family.  

Carin and David Atkins of Pinecrest, Florida, were waiting out Irma on Monday, planning to leave their Atlanta hotel Tuesday morning to head back down the Florida peninsula with their children, Molly and Thomas. The Atkins said they have hotel reservations near Cape Canaveral, more than halfway back to their home outside Miami.

'I've called to confirm they have power,' David Atkins said, adding that some businesses near their home have power as well.

Carin Atkins said they can live without power at home for several days, recalling that they went 47 days without power after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. They evacuated, she said, only because of the threat of rising water from a storm surge that didn't reach to their home.

Other evacuees still aren't as sure of their return.

A woman suntans amongst debris on Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on Tuesday  after Hurricane Irma passed the area

A woman suntans amongst debris on Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida on Tuesday  after Hurricane Irma passed the area

A damaged house on Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida is pictured above on Tuesday 

A damaged house on Ponte Vedra Beach in Florida is pictured above on Tuesday 

A boy walks amongst debris on the beach after Hurricane Irma passed the area in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, U.S., on Tuesday

A boy walks amongst debris on the beach after Hurricane Irma passed the area in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida, U.S., on Tuesday

Local residents walk down a street that was flooded after the passing of Hurricane Irma in Immokalee, Florida on Tuesday

Local residents walk down a street that was flooded after the passing of Hurricane Irma in Immokalee, Florida on Tuesday

Boats, cars and other debris clog waterways in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state

Boats, cars and other debris clog waterways in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state

Boats, cars and other debris clog waterways in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state

Boats, cars and other debris clog waterways in the Florida Keys on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma slammed into the state

NA A man shops in a Naples, Florida supermarket on Tuesday, one of the few open, with limited electricity and food two days after Hurricane Irma swept through the area

NA A man shops in a Naples, Florida supermarket on Tuesday, one of the few open, with limited electricity and food two days after Hurricane Irma swept through the area

 Floridians will have to make due with non-perishable food while millions are still without power

 Floridians will have to make due with non-perishable food while millions are still without power

A submerged mobile home community stands in Fort Myers on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma swept through the area

A submerged mobile home community stands in Fort Myers on Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma swept through the area

A neighborhood remains flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 12, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

A neighborhood remains flooded by Hurricane Irma on September 12, 2017 in Bonita Springs, Florida

Carolyn Cole removes belongings from her flooded home in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday

Carolyn Cole removes belongings from her flooded home in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday

Much of Cole's home was still under water as she returned home on Tuesday to gather up her most prized possessions 

Much of Cole's home was still under water as she returned home on Tuesday to gather up her most prized possessions 

A boat is seen on a highway as local residents return to Plantation Key, Florida on Tuesday

A boat is seen on a highway as local residents return to Plantation Key, Florida on Tuesday

Local residents walk along a destroyed trailer park in Plantation Key, Florida on Tuesday 

Local residents walk along a destroyed trailer park in Plantation Key, Florida on Tuesday 

Palm trees appears to weather the storm rather well at the mobile home park in Plantation Key  

Palm trees appears to weather the storm rather well at the mobile home park in Plantation Key  

The entire Florida Keys were under mandatory evacuation during Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the island chain on Sunday  

The entire Florida Keys were under mandatory evacuation during Hurricane Irma, which made landfall in the island chain on Sunday  

A destroyed trailer park is seen in Plantation Key, Florida on Tuesday after Hurricane Irma struck the island 

A destroyed trailer park is seen in Plantation Key, Florida on Tuesday after Hurricane Irma struck the island 

Bonita Springs, Florida is seen above in a Monday afternoon photo provided by DroneBase

Bonita Springs, Florida is seen above in a Monday afternoon photo provided by DroneBase

Alfonso Jose pulls his son Alfonso Jr., 2, in a cooler with his wife Cristina Ventura as they wade through their flooded street in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday  

Alfonso Jose pulls his son Alfonso Jr., 2, in a cooler with his wife Cristina Ventura as they wade through their flooded street in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday  

Irma will continue to pelt parts of the south with rain on Tuesday 

Irma will continue to pelt parts of the south with rain on Tuesday 

HURRICANE IRMA CLAIMS 52 LIVES

U.S. - 14

FLORIDA

Monroe County: A man died after losing control of his truck, which was carrying a generator, in heavy winds.  Hardee County: Joseph Ossman, 53,a sergeant with the Hardee Correctional Institute, was heading to work Sunday morning when he collided head on with the vehicle driven by Sheriff's Deputy Julie Bridges, 42, who was heading home from a night shift. Orlando: Heidi Zehner, 50, was driving on a highway near Orlando Sunday night when she lost control of her SUV and hit a guardrail.  Winter Park: Brian Buwalda, 51, was electrocuted by a downed power line on Monday : Wilfredo Hernandez, 55, died when the chain saw he was using to clear trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma became entangled in a branch, causing it to kick up and cut his carotid artery. Miami-Dade County: A person died of carbon monoxide poisoning from using a generator the wrong way 

GEORGIA 

Worth County: The body of a 62-year-old man who climbed a ladder behind his home was found under debris on the roof of his shed Sandy Springs:  A man in his 50, was killed just outside Atlanta when a tree fell on his house Forsyth County: Woman died when a tree fell on a vehicle in a private driveway

SOUTH CAROLINA 

Abbeville County: Charles Saxon, 57, died when he was struck by a tree limb while clearing debris from his home in Calhoun Falls amid wind gusts of 40 mph  Columbia: City worker Arthur Strudwick, 48, a city worker, died Monday night when he drove his car off the road during heavy rains Columbia: Zhen Tain, 21, crashed his Ford Mustang while driving east of Columbia Monday afternoon. The vehicle hit another car and then flipped.   Sumter County: William McBride, 54, died of carbon monoxide poisoning while running a generator inside his mobile home with only a single window cracked for ventilation

 

Elsewhere in the Caribbean - 38

Anguilla - 1

Barbados - 1

Barbuda - 3

Cuba - 10 

French West Indies - 11

Haiti - 1

Puerto Rico - 3

St. Maarten - 4

U.S. Virgin Islands - 4   

 

 

 

Columbia, South Carolina city worker Arthur Strudwick, 48 (pictured), died Monday night when he drove his car off the road during heavy rains

Columbia, South Carolina city worker Arthur Strudwick, 48 (pictured), died Monday night when he drove his car off the road during heavy rains

Joseph Ossman, 53 (right), a sergeant with the Hardee Correctional Institute, was heading to work Sunday morning when he collided head on with the vehicle driven by Sheriff's Deputy Julie Bridges, 42 (left), who was heading home from a night shift.

PRESIDENT TO VISIT FLORIDA THURSDAY

The White House says President Donald will visit hurricane-stricken Florida on Thursday.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not announce the specific location or locations. said earlier this week that he would visit the state 'very soon.' 

visited Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey struck both states in late August.

He also plans to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands, where four died during the storm.

Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp said Tuesday that the visit would take place in about a week, but gave no further details. 

Stephanie Clegg Troxell was near Nashville, Tennessee, where her family caravan includes three cars and a trailer, five adults, five children, 13 dogs, three mini-horses and a pet pig. The trek from New Port Richey, Florida, north of Bay, took more than 17 hours, beginning last Wednesday.

Troxell said her husband stayed behind and now is working with friends to remove a tree that fell on the roof of their house. They also had no power.

'We don't know when we're leaving and now there's another hurricane coming,' Troxell said, referring to Jose, which was offshore. 'I'm trying to sneak out when it's not 30 miles per hour-plus winds.'

In Winston-Salem, North Carolina, Rea Argonza was worried about money as she mapped out her return plans.

'Staying here, it's been like a financial strain,' said Argonza, who traveled with her husband and five children from St. Augustine, Florida, to two hotel rooms 500 miles away near the Wake Forest University campus. 'We're up to almost a thousand dollars now. I do believe this whole expedition is going to be almost $3,000.'

One area still not accessible is the lower Florida Keys, where officials continue to carry out tests to make sure the bridges are safe to drive on.

That includes the most distant and populous island in the chain, Key West.

Scott said Tuesday that officials continue to check the 42 Overseas Highway bridges that link the Florida Keys together. He said none appear seriously damaged but that 'we're not sure that on the bridges we should be putting on significant weight.' 

Angelina Ventura, left, and Jose Gonzalez retrieve belongings from their flooded home in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday 

Angelina Ventura, left, and Jose Gonzalez retrieve belongings from their flooded home in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday 

In this Monday afternoon photo provided by DroneBase, an aerial view of Bonita Springs, Florida, is seen

In this Monday afternoon photo provided by DroneBase, an aerial view of Bonita Springs, Florida, is seen

Jose Lopez and Judy Madujano put their son Jose Jr, 1, into a splash pool as they retrieve belongings from their flooded home following Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs, Florida on Tuesday

Jose Lopez and Judy Madujano put their son Jose Jr, 1, into a splash pool as they retrieve belongings from their

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