Authorities are pulling many bodies out of the wreckage of the South Keys in Florida; numbers likely not being reported because next of kin need notification.

They are saying the worst is south of Marathon which would be Big Piney Key to Key West. They said the number so far could fill an 18 wheeler. It has been reported that between 25,000 and 35,000 did not evacuate.

We all knew something very big was going on down there, when authorities said NO ONE could return until told to do so.  On the news, I saw Federal Agents with weapons at the ready ready and wondered aloud "why would they need that for a damage assessment?"

It was reported that thousands chose to stay in the Keys despite the hurricane, which I thought was stupidity unless you had a concrete two or three story building. Anyplace else was just asking for it.

You don't stay on a low level island in a frigging Hurricane, no matter what strength it is. The storm surge will always get you and the second half of the storm is where the shit hits the fan. The first half weakens structures, the last half of the storm rips them apart.

As of 3:00 AM EDT on Thursday morning, I can confirm that at least Twelve people have died and a quarter of all homes have been destroyed in the Florida Keys following Hurricane Irma, state officials say.

The fatalities, which take the storm's death toll to 61, were confirmed by emergency authorities.

Rick Scott, governor of Florida, said there was a "lot of work to do" in the wake Sunday's Category 4 storm, which hit the largely evacuated area with SUSTAINED winds of up to 135 MPH and gusts up to 160 MPH.

"We are bringing people back to a normal life as fast as possible ... everybody's going to come together, and we are going to get this state rebuilt," he said on Tuesday.

Initial damage assessments revealed that almost 65 percent of homes in the Florida Keys had sustained major damage, according to Brock Long, a Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator.

A quarter of all homes in the Florida Keys have been destroyed.

 

"We are bringing people back to a normal life as fast as possible ... everybody's going to come together, and we are going to get this state rebuilt," he said on Tuesday.

Initial damage assessments revealed that almost 65 percent of homes in the Florida Keys had sustained major damage, according to Brock Long, a Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator.