Key West airport reopens while distribution sites help residents

KEY WEST, FLA. (WSVN) - After being closed due to Hurricane Irma, Key West International Airport has finally reopened its doors while the community continues to recover.

Commercial flights resumed Wednesday, bringing some kind of normalcy to Key West.

Delta Airlines and Silver Airlines resumed service Wednesday and American Airlines is expected to start service on Thursday. Although the airport is now open for commercial flights, the schedule is limited for the next few days.

Key West International Airport was closed for commercial service for 12 days due to the storm.

In one of the hardest hit sections in the Keys is one of the biggest distribution centers in Big Pine Key. They have almost everything that anyone could need from canned goods, food and bags of various essential products. FEMA as well as others are also on scene to make sure that residents get their housing situation in order.

“There’s a 35-foot boat sitting in the front of my house,” said resident Ryan O’Bryen. “It hit my house. It’s not mine.”

O’Bryen stayed in his home during the storm. “My roof kind of caved in. My whole back’s messed up,” he said. “I’ve got more palm trees now than when it started.”

Big Pine Key got Irma’s worst and some homes that were on the water off of Avenue I are no longer houses.

People there and in O’Bryen’s neighborhood will be needing help, and thankfully they will be getting it at the distribution sites.

Senator Bill Nelson visited those at the distribution sites and Gov. Rick Scott was also on hand in Marathon Wednesday. Scott met with Keys’ mayors and federal officials to discuss response and post-Irma housing.

The focus now is about getting the local economy going again. “A lot of the residences of the workers in the Keys have been destroyed,” Nelson said, “and they’ve gotta have some place to live while the Keys rebuild. So that’s going to be a real priority.”

The Big Pine Key distribution was busy all day. They have shut down for the night at 6 p.m. but the food tent is getting ready to serve dinner.

The boil water order has been lifted in Key West, Wednesday.

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