Gov. Scott visits one of hardest-hit areas of Florida Keys after Irma

Governor participates in roundtable with FEMA, other Monroe County leaders

By Terrell Forney - Reporter

MONROE COUNTY, Fla. - One of the hardest-hit areas of the Keys received a visit Friday from Gov. Rick Scott, who toured an RV park saw firsthand the many twisted and mangled trailers and mobile homes that were tossed around like toys during the storm.

Joanne Beck is a part-time resident of the park. Most of her neighbors haven't been back because their property fared much worse.

"To look around at the devastation in this area to people who lost their permanent homes and who lost everything, we're sad for us, but really sad for them," Beck said.

"I'm going to keep showing up and keep doing everything I can to help them get back to a normal life," Scott said.

Prior to touring storm damage, the governor participated in a roundtable with Federal Emergency Management Agency personnel and other Monroe County leaders to help move the recovery phase to the next level.

One big issue remains housing; 10,000 to 15,000 homes were destroyed or damaged by Irma.

Emergency housing is on the way in the form of 1,700 travel trailers that have been ordered, along with 7,500 mobile homes from the federal government, but current inventory is low. So the transition for those who qualify won't be immediate.

"It takes time to make sure we got somewhere safe to put those and the infrastructure is safe to support it and put it down and put it in place," said Bryan Koon, director of Florida Emergency Management.

"Hopefully, they'll rebuild and we'll be back real soon," Beck said.

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