Hurricane damage in Marathon isn’t as bad as city leaders first estimated as volunteers and first responders have descended on the Middle Keys to clean up after the devastating storm, according to Marathon City Manager Chuck Lindsey on Tuesday.
"Our primary objective remains life safety,” Lindsey said. “Marathon crews, the fire department and an incredible amount of volunteers have been working to clear the roads. Their objective today is to be 80 percent clear — the highways and residential neighborhoods. This allows us to get to all of our homes and places people may be.”
Lindsey said there was an incredible difference in how Marathon looked from “day one to today,” though the city remains without power, running water or sewer services and communications remain very poor.
Three fatalities from the storm have been confirmed in Marathon, Lindsey said.
Responding to Marathon were the National Guard, Air National Guard, FEMA personnel and numerous contractors.
“Things are moving along fast due to the incredible resilience and spirit of our people,” he said. “Miami-Dade Task Force One was on the ground last night beginning with building clearance. They are going door-to-door.”
“As we get roads clear, we're finding that damages are less than our initial estimate,” Lindsey said.
The Marathon fire station has established an emergency care clinic that has a “priority one” patient capability screening patients and available for patients with critical needs throughout the Middle and Lower Keys.
A Facebook page group has been created called Florida Keys Irma Safety Check where people can report their condition and to keep up with updates.
Gwen Filosa contributed to this report