KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - As of 10 p.m. Friday, officials have confirmed nine storm-related deaths in Monroe County, excluding Key West.
As of Wednesday, officials had also confirmed about 40 injuries in the Florida Keys during Hurricane Irma or due to the effects of the storm.
Relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the National Guard began to trickle in Wednesday afternoon in Big Pine Key.
Many of the streets in Big Pine Key have houses destroyed or badly damaged. “You couldn’t tell that there’s a road there,” said resident Helena Myers. “There’s so many places missing. I didn’t even know where I was at. That’s how bad it is. It’s pretty bad.”
Not only did Hurricane Irma’s winds impact the area, but the storm surge also played a big part.
Bob Dagnall lives in the area and waited too long to evacuate. “It was too late in the day, too late. The winds were kicking up,” he said. “It wouldn’t have been safe to leave.”
It is a big concern that there could be people in the neighborhood who are trapped, but residents said they are confident everyone evacuated.
“They said that they were going to do recovery first with FEMA, and they’re going around, and any doors or windows that look like they’re open are hollering to see who’s there,” Myers said.
She said she has not heard from her friends and do not know if they’re OK. “I have absolutely no idea,” Myers said.
FEMA and the National Guard has set up stations along U.S. 1 where people can get food and water.
“We have no water,” said Sue Snitzel, who was waiting in line. “I had some, but it’s two bottles left.”
One man was thankful that relief came. “We’re running out,” he said. “A day or two more and we would be out.”
Residents said one of their biggest concerns is letting friends and family know they are OK, but without phones or power, it has been hard.
“Mostly I want my daughter and my brothers to know that I’m OK,” said one man receiving FEMA help. “Everything’s fine. We’re doing well, and with these guys here helping us out, we’re gonna do even better.”
Over in Key West, 7News crews were on the scene where people lined up to get food and water. While some are thankful, others said this process is taking longer than expected.
“Everybody here is devastated and everything is destroyed, ” said resident Brooke Lynch. “This is a small town. It pulls together. Everybody has been able to pitch in and help each other, which is a big thing. It’s what makes Key West Key West.”
Supplies arrived sporadically throughout the day, but with little way of spreading the word, people just stand around and wait.
Restaurants in the area have food that will spoil soon and some have decided to cook up the food and give it out.
Residents were not shy to tell 7News crews that they desperately need ice. They are hoping that those who can will respond and bring ice to help keep perishable food good, help cool down the people and will also be used as water to drink once melted.
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