Gov. Rick Scott, R-Fla., said, "I just hope everyone survived," after a flyover of the hurricane-battered Keys yielded what the governor said were scenes of devastation.
He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where almost everything wasn't overturned." Authorities also struggled to clear the single highway connecting the string of islands to the mainland.
The Keys felt Irma's full fury when the storm blew ashore as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning with 130 mph winds. How many people in the dangerously exposed, low-lying islands defied evacuation orders and stayed behind was unclear.
In a tweet Monday morning, a WFOR reporter said “it’s hard to describe" the lower Florida Keys, but it could be best described as a “war zone.”
As Irma weakened into a tropical storm and finally left Florida on Monday after a run up the entire 400-mile length of the state, the full scale of its destruction was still unknown, in part because of cutoff communications and blocked roads. Monday night, the storm had weakened to a tropical depression near Columbus, Georgia.
Six deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, along with three in Georgia and one in South Carolina. At least 35 people were killed in the Caribbean.