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KEY WEST (CBSMiami) — Now that it appears more likely that the eye of powerful Hurricane Irma will strike the Keys, inmates in Key West were moved off the island.

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay made the tough decision Friday to evacuate 460 inmates from his main jail facility on Stock Island and take them to a safer location on the mainland of Florida. Although the main detention facility is a category 5 rated building, the sheriff felt it was expedient to make the move given the changing path of Irma, which now appears to bring the powerful storm directly over Key West or the Lower Keys.

MORE: Latest Hurricane Irma Updates

“Moving this many inmates this quickly is a tough job,” said the Sheriff. “ Our staff was up to the challenge. They quickly formulated plans to make the move safely, were able to procure buses for the transport, and got on the road without incident,” he said.

The move took place very early Friday morning. Staff went with the inmates to assist at the hosting facility in Palm Beach County with the additional work load.



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