Before and After Photos of Hurricane Irma's Destruction in the Florida Keys

Severe storm damage in the Florida Keys may necessitate the evacuation of an additional 10,000 residents who remained home throughout Hurricane Irma. The Category 4 storm hit the lower Keys on Sunday with 130 mph winds and widespread destruction.

“Everything is underwater, I mean everything,” said Larry Kahn, an editor for local newspaper the Keynoter.

Millions are without power in Florida, and the main water line for the Florida Keys is offline, according to the Department of Defense. The latter has brought a precautionary boil-water notice for Keys residents. While the damage assessment for the Keys is ongoing, service members are preparing for recovery operations in the region. 

Along with the newly proposed evacuations, those who want to return home may face additional challenges and delays as recovery crews fix broken power lines, road-blocking debris and storm-swamped areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that 25 percent of Florida Keys homes have been destroyed, with 65 percent suffering major damage.

Below are photos of Hurricane Irma's damage in the Keys.

Duval Street, Before And After

While buildings are boarded up and bars are closed, Duval Street survived the worst of the predicted hurricane damage. A heavy storm surge knocked down branches and flooded the streets with several inches of water. A dusk-to-dawn curfew was implemented to reduce travel danger and prevent looting in the area. Officials say there will be many stages of cleanup before the Keys shops are able to reopen

Before:

0912_Duval_Before Duval Street at night. Photo by: Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images

After:

Widespread Damage to Homes, Boats and Gas Stations

Across the Florida Keys, boats were pushed ashore and homes were flooded. The home of famed writer Shel Silverstein was reportedly crushed by a falling tree during the hurricane, and thousands of Florida Keys residents feared discovering the same fate for their homes when they return.

“Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted some way,” said Brock Long, FEMA’s administrator.

Florida_Keys_Hurricane_Damage Damaged houses are shown in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. Photo by Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images

Florida_Keys_Hurricane_Damage2 Damaged sailboats after the hurricane. Photo by Matt McClain -Pool/Getty Images

Florida_Keys_Hurricane_Damage3 Debris lies on the ground at a gas station. Photo by Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images

Irma’s Destruction in the Keys, From the Ground

On the ground, residents and reporters showcased battered boats and homes as recovery efforts and surveying begins in the Keys.

“We’ve had trees down [everywhere], roads blocked from one end of this county to the other, car crashes, people hit by limbs, a large barn fire, water shortages, communications failures and even two rocket scientists who decided today would be a GREAT day to kayak down the Ocmulgee River,” the Monroe County Emergency Services said in a statement.

In the coming days, Florida Keys residents will rely on relief ships as recovery begins.

Irma’s Devastation in the  Keys, From Space

Satellite images captured the damage from Irma after it made landfall in the southern part of the state.

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