Local

Three confirmed Marathon fatalities during, after, Irma. Number was feared higher

The City of Marathon was badly hit by Hurricane Irma. Dispatches from those there, including from those in authority, are extremely limited because the town is still without power, cell phone service, water and sewage treatment.

But one of our reporters, Katie Atkins, made her way there and is reporting that through the efforts of local and outside agencies, 90 percent of the road is cleared from the massive amounts of debris Irma left in its path.

More importantly, Atkins spoke with city Manager Chuck Lindsay, who said a check of all homes by Marathon Fire Rescue, the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and Miami-Dade County Urban Search and Rescue indicates three people in the city died during the storm.

Officials had feared earlier that the number was much higher, especially because a significant amount of liveaboards in Boot Key Harbor chose to stay on their vessels, and storm surge was the major contributor to all of the destruction left in Irma’s path.

“It may take a day or two. They have found no further fatalities to date, other than the three from the storm,” Lindsay said.

Residents as of Tuesday were only allowed to return if they lived or owned businesses north of Lower Matecumbe Key, around mile marker 74. Infrastructure to the south is still way too damaged for residents to return.

“Regardless of what’s being reported, power is being restored to the highway, but we have no power in the neighborhoods, we have no water, we have no sewer and we have no fuel, so I would ask residents because they’re not letting people down here, wait for us to get word out."

“To all the families that are out of town, be patient. We’re doing everything in our power to get our city back to where we can get our residents back,” Lindsay said. “Our county Sheriff Rick Ramsay has done an incredible job. His people have instituted a curfew from dusk to dawn and are making numerous patrols to keep our neighborhoods safe."

Katie Atkins: 305-440-3219

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