What to Know About Traveling to the Florida Keys After Hurricane Irma

In the 10 days of its existence, Hurricane Irma plowed a path through the Caribbean and up the southeastern United States, leaving a trail of destruction in its wake. The storm’s total monetary damage is yet to been determined, but it killed at least 42 people, including eight in the U.S.

The storm may be over, but the reconstruction process is just beginning. It will take weeks — if not months — before the affected areas fully recover.

For those questioning canceling or rescheduling an upcoming trip to the Florida Keys, here’s everything to know about Florida travel in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Related: What to Know About Traveling to the Bahamas After Hurricane Irma

What parts of Florida were hit by Irma?

Pretty much all of it — although there were certain parts of the state that got the brunt of the storm. The Keys, an archipelago of islands off the state’s southern tip, were pounded the worst and sustained the most damage.

Miami, Everglades City, Naples, and their surrounding small towns were hit hard by Irma. Trees crashed down and knocked power wires down with them. Jacksonville saw record-breaking flooding and will deal with significant water damage this week.

Tampa, St. Petersburg, and Orlando all survived the storm without much significant damage.

Related: What Travelers Should Know About Miami’s Hurricane Irma Damage

What was the total damage from Irma?

Damage assessment is ongoing and officials are reluctant to release numbers while investigations continue.

FEMA reported that 90 percent of homes in the Keys suffered some damage, with 25 percent destroyed.

Are roads open in the Florida Keys?

Visitors and business owners were allowed back to the Upper Keys on Tuesday. The Florida Department of Transportation reported that all 42 bridges along U.S. 1, which leads into and out of the Keys, have been inspected and cleared. Highway crews are still repairing a few locations damaged by the storm, but work should be completed by Thursday.

Is it safe to travel to the Florida Keys?

It’s safe, but supplies are scarce. Only some areas have access to running water. In places where water and food are not directly available, rescue teams have set up distributions centers. Residents of the Keys are being instructed to boil any water before drinking it.

The Lower Keys remain completely without power. In the Upper Keys, the Florida Keys Electric Cooperative reports that about 70 percent of their customers still don’t have power.

There is currently a dawn-to-dusk curfew instilled in the Keys.

Should I cancel my trip to Florida?

It depends when and where you’re traveling. If you have plans to visit the Florida Keys within the next few weeks, yes, you should reschedule, per the request of officials in Key West.

Officials have not released a reopening date, and it’s likely to vary across the different islands of the Keys. Officials in Key West hope to have their island open by October 20 for Fantasy Fest, an annual costume festival.

What is closed?

Although runways at Key West International Airport and Florida Keys Marathon International Airport are cleared and available for aircraft, commercial service has been suspended until water and electricity are restored. The airports are mostly being used for relief purposes at the moment.

Walt Disney World is open, although the water parks will not reopen until later in the week. Universal Studios Orlando is open without any modifications.

Hotels — save those in the Keys — are open, although lodgings may be scarce. Visitors who have booked an Airbnb should check directly with their host about the state of their lodging.