Key West mayor wants residents to return starting Sunday

The famous Southernmost buoy in Key West shows storm damage.
The famous Southernmost buoy in Key West shows storm damage.

Key West will start allowing residents to return on Sunday, Mayor Craig Cates announced Friday evening on his Facebook page.

“We are going to start the process on Sunday,” Cates said.

A meeting of emergency managers is set for 8:30 a.m. Saturday at which officials will hammer out a return plan, Cates said.

But City Commissioner Clayton Lopez said the Sunday return date isn’t a done deal.

“What is true is that talks concerning logistics and safety are going on as we speak,” Lopez posted Friday evening.

Residents have been divided over whether they are unfairly being kept from their homes or simply being protected from living conditions that include no potable water and some remaining power outages.

City Commissioner Sam Kaufman also said that the final decision would be made at Saturday’s meeting.

But Kaufman, after the Friday evening’s emergency management meeting, that residents are expected to be able to start returning Sunday.

Earlier Friday before the Emergency Operations Center meeting, City Manager Jim Scholl said there isn’t enough food, water or fuel flowing into the city to take care of everyone who wants to return.

Scholl said it could be a week before the city is reopened to residents.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen