Decision to reopen keys after Irma was difficult, officials say

Officials in the devastated Florida Keys say they agonized over reopening parts of the island chain after Hurricane Irma, knowing residents were desperate to assess the damage, but worried about harsh living conditions for those who returned.

Monroe County Mayor George Neugent said during a news conference Saturday that electricity, sewer and water are intermittent and warned those returning to bring their own supplies.

Officials opened up U.S. 1 on Saturday all the way south to Marathon for residents, business owners, disaster workers and supply trucks. The same groups will have access all the way to Key West on Sunday.

Keys officials are setting up nearly two dozen checkpoints in the hardest hit areas staffed by law-enforcement to make sure only authorized residents and relief workers get through.

Government offices and schools could reopen September 28.

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