Keys residents line up on U.S. 1, ready to go home

Upper Keys residents, busniess owners allowed to go back 7 a.m. Tuesday

FLORIDA CITY, Fla. – Dozens of Keys residents parked their cars along U.S.1 on Monday and stayed there throughout the night.

They all wanted to be sure they're there when U.S. 1 opens at 7 a.m. to allow residents and business owners of the Upper Keys to return for the first time since Hurricane Irma passed through. 

"Dude, I'm pissed," Alan Neuzil said. "How would you feel? You have no idea what your house looks like. I don't know, I may go home whenever the hell they let me in and I may go home and cry because I ain't left with nothing."

Residents and business owners in the upper Keys, which includes Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada to mile marker 73, will be allowed to return home on Tuesday at 7 a.m. Those coming back must have a yellow re-entry sticker or show proof of residence to return.

When Neuzil does make it home, there is a high chance he won’t have power and water. Cellphone service is also limited in Monroe County. Most gas stations are also closed.

Crews have been working to remove debris from roadways, many of which are unsafe to travel on due to downed trees, boats, power lines and sand that washed out during the storm.

Cory Nelson said he simply wants to get to his Islamorada home.

"I have a chainsaw in my car and we can get down there and start chopping trees. They're letting old citizens get in because they need to get down there too, and us young whippersnappers can go down there (and) start chopping trees down," he said.