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Florida Keys to reopen to tourists on Oct 1

Weeks ahead of schedule

Florida Keys Remain Without Basic Utilities After Direct Hit From Hurricane Irma
A man has his photo taken while standing on the marker signifying the southernmost point in Key West on September 16, 2017
Photo by Angel Valentin/Getty Images

The Florida Keys will reopen to tourists starting October 1, which is about three weeks earlier than expected, according to the Miami Herald.

Large chunks of the popular vacation destination were decimated by Hurricane Irma. The Federal Emergency Management Agency has reported that 25 percent of all homes in the Florida Keys were destroyed and 65 percent sustained major damage.

“We know we have a long way to go before the Keys fully recover,” added Monroe County Mayor George Neugent in a statement. “But because tourism is our top economic engine and many of our residents’ livelihoods depend on it, we also know that we need to begin asking visitors to return.”

Bridges are open for travel, hospitals have reopened, and the Key West airport resumed commercial service. Power has been restored in roughly 99.8 percent of the state, according to FPL.

The wildly popular Fantasy Fest, a Key West staple, remains scheduled for October 20-29.