Signs Of Life Across South Florida Days After Irma’s Wrath

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Over 112 million people visited Florida last year and spent well over $100 billion.

Irma will obviously put a dent in that number.

The cleanup is underway. From Hollywood to South Beach, many businesses have reopened their doors post Irma – giving locals a chance to get out of the house.

“This is the first time we’ve gone out since the hurricane, so we went to eat and now we went shopping. I wasn’t planning on buying anything but I bought everything,” said Angela Mujica.

Families are even getting ready for Halloween.

“I want to be a clown!” Jayden Rakhar said.

“A clown? You’re not going to be IT are you?” CBS4’s Mike Cugno followed up.

“Yeah! Yeah, I want to be a scary clown,” Jayden said.

In Miami, evidence of Irma still lingers. Popular neighborhoods like Wynwood have visitors checking out the Walls and sitting down for happy hour.

Wynwood Yard owner Della Heiman says her bar took a financial hit but they’re now open with the help of a handful of generators.

“We try to keep everyone on payroll as much as we possibly can. So even while we were putting things back together it’s obviously huge expenses every single day when you don’t have any income to supplement it,” Heiman said, “There’s also so many fixed expenses that we’re on the hook for regardless if we’re able to generate any revenue.”

AIR Worldwide, a catastrophe modeling firm, says Irma could cost the U.S. $25 to $35 billion.

But on Miami Beach, Mayor Philip Levine wants tourists to know the city is open for business.

He helped throw the “Break the Curfew” event at Bodega Taqueria y Tequila to signify a return to nightlife.

“Go on out and have a drink. Enjoy yourself a little bit. Let a sigh of relief out that Miami Beach has made it through the storm,” Levine said. “Of course we are still thinking about the 15 to 18 percent of the folks in Miami Beach right now that still don’t have power. We suggest they get out of their house a little bit. Go have a drink and enjoy themselves.”

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