What to Know
- The devastation spanned across the Keys, leveling houses and destroying areas from Big Pine Key to Marathon and further north.
- When it was all said and done, Irma would be the fifth costliest hurricane in history, causing nearly $65 million in damage and killing 134.
As Floridians watch a trio of storms brewing in the Atlantic Ocean, residents are also remembering one year ago – when Hurricane Irma struck the state as a Category 4 storm, leaving over a 100 deaths and billions of dollars in destruction in its wake across the Caribbean and United States.
After causing damage and taking lives in places like Anguilla, Saint Martin, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas, Irma made landfall around 9 a.m. near in the Florida Keys near Cudjoe Key with winds of 130 miles per hour – the strongest storm to make direct landfall in Florida since Charley in 2004.
The devastation spanned across the Keys, leveling houses and destroying areas from Big Pine Key to Marathon and further north. Flooding was seen in parts of Miami-Dade and Broward County as well – as Irma would cross the Keys and make a second landfall that afternoon near Marco Island as a Category 3 storm before moving up the state and leaving a path of destruction and debris.
When it was all said and done, Irma would be the fifth costliest hurricane in history, causing nearly $65 billion in damage and killing 134 people – with $50 billion of that and 92 fatalities being in the United States alone. The name would later be retired as a result of the damage it caused.
Irma would put a major damper on the tourism industry in the Florida Keys for months after – but the area has bounced back as more than 90 percent of the lodging facilities in the area have reopened in the year since with the other 10 percent scheduled to reopen before Christmas in an area where tourism makes up over 50 percent of the workforce.