Devastation in The Florida Keys: Hurricane Ian
BY MAGGIE OLIVE KLEIN
KONKLIFE STAFF WRITER AND EDITOR
On Thursday, September 26th, Florida Bay Storm Surge from Hurricane Ian caused higher than average tides. As a result, almost three feet of water took over the streets, leaving people boggled over what was land and what was originally water. With this water came a lot of unforeseen situations. The crocodiles that live in the canals in the area were spotted swimming down Stillwright Points streets. Imagine the panic in spotting one? Additionally, Key Largo Wastewater Treatment District issued a statement on Thursday in which they urged residents to let up on flushing their toilets because of the flooding in the area, and how it is affecting the sewer system.
Driving through standing flood water might be dangerous, but through standing saltwater is guaranteed to destroy a car through steady corrosion. With this much water sitting above residential streets for so long, people could end up being stranded in their homes for days on end. King Tide Season, typically lasting through October, tends to spill saltwater onto residential roads in northern Key Largo along the Eastern Florida Bay annually.
Hurricane Earl and Fiona pushed massive amounts of water into the Gulf Stream, which ultimately made its way into Florida Bay. And then, Hurricane Ian passed by The Keys, pumping even more water into the bay, which can’t move until the area receives days of easterly winds, according to Jonathan Rizzo, Warning Coordination Meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Key West.
The area of the Keys that ended up being most impacted by Hurricane Ian is Key West, where hundreds of residents faced devastation in recent days due to the hurricane’s extreme strength. Flooding caused power outlets to break, and belongings to be ruined in nearly 100 apartments. Some roads were temporarily flooded because of storm surge or blocked from fallen trees. The other parts of the island, The Lower Keys, Marathon, Islamorada, and Key Largo, were at less of a risk of damage from Ian, because they are east-northeast of Key West. So, even though they did have impacts, they were less severe than those in Key West. The death toll from Ian is at least 21, according to Florida Gov. Ron Desantis. Although conditions are very bad, many are trying to have somewhat of a positive outlook on the situation, reminding themselves that conditions could have ended up being much worse.[livemarket market_name="KONK Life LiveMarket" limit=3 category=“” show_signup=0 show_more=0]