Gov. Rick Scott says state, federal governments doing all they can for Florida Keys

Scott asks residents for patience as they make area safe to return to

By Ian Margol - Reporter, Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

KEY WEST, Fla. - Florida Gov. Rick Scott attended two meetings Friday in the Florida Keys, nearly a week after Hurricane Irma torn through the area. 

The first meeting was held at 10:30 a.m. at the Key West City Hall at 1300 White St., and the second was held at 2 p.m. at the Monroe County Emergency Management at 490 E. 63 St., Ocean 150, in Marathon. 

The governor called the damage in the Keys devastating and tried to reassure residents that local leaders and the state and federal governments are doing everything they can to help.

Scott, who was accompanied by leaders from agencies ranging from the Army Corps. of Engineers to FEMA and the Florida Department of Health, among several others, met with the mayor and city manager of Key West to find out what exactly they needed throughout the area.

The governor said 18 percent of the state is still without power, but crews are working as quickly as possible to get the lights back on.

Scott asked for patience as residents wait for crews to clear debris in the Middle and Lower Keys before they can return home.

"Everybody wants to get back, but I want everybody to be safe," Scott said. "I know what the city is doing. What the county is focused on is the safety of people when they come back, and you want to come back to power, you want to come back to a sewer system that works, you want to come back to a water system that works, you want to come back to where you have food that you need.

"And so, I can tell you that that's what I'm focused on, and if you listen to all this conversation here, that's what everyone's focused on."

Urban search-and-rescue teams continue to search for survivors or victims throughout the Keys.

Local 10 News reporter Janine Stanwood accompanied one team Friday as they went door to door in Big Pine Key, one of the hardest hit areas.

A dog named Finn helped search for trapped people, but no one was found, although there were many destroyed or heavily damaged homes.

"I'm good. I mean, I'm as good as I can be," one man told Stanwood. "My house is gone, my boat is gone and my truck is gone, but I'm here."

Officials said it's still unclear when people will be allowed to return to the Middle and Lower Keys, however the mayor said they will try to set a date by Friday night for when residents and business owners will be allowed into the Middle and Lower Keys.  

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