Upper Keys Residents Allowed To Return Home

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The days of anxiously waiting for the chance to return home for some Keys residents is over.

Tuesday morning, residents of the Upper Keys – Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada – were told they could go home. People who businesses on those islands were also allowed back.

While it’s good news for residents, the wait for the residents of the middle and lower Keys continues.

“It may be another couple days, they won’t let us go all the way home,” said Ricardo Landa who lives in Key West.

Some Keys residents have been camping out at a 24 hour gas station in Florida City waiting for crews to clear the way down.

Monroe County officials said that residents heading back should be aware that most of the Keys are without power and water. Cell phone service is questionable and most gas stations are still shut down.

Landa said he’s trying to remain opitmistic.

“Well I’m hoping to see that our home is still there,” said Landa. “And maybe to have enough food to last us a while and just wait for them to bring back the electricity and gas.”

County officials said several factors play into the delays of opening the middle and lower Keys. They have to wait for the department of transportation to inspect the bridges to ensure they were safe for heavy travel since they are the one way in and one way out of the island chain. Additionally they have to clear debris and check for possible deaths of those who chose to stay and ride it out.

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