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Florida Keys reopen to tourism after Irma

Posted: 6:58 PM, Oct 01, 2017
Updated: 2017-10-02 09:36:45Z

KEY WEST, Fla. (AP) — The Florida Keys have reopened to visitors three weeks after Hurricane Irma's assault on the island chain.

RELATED: More hurricane coverage

Local officials designated Sunday for the official return of tourists based on rapid utilities restoration and the need to resume the Keys' tourism-based economy.

Tourism-related jobs account for about 50 percent of the workforce.

Key Largo and Key West were least affected by Irma's Sept. 10 landfall and have more lodging and attractions open than other parts of the Keys. The hardest hit area is the Lower Keys, from northeast of Key West to the Seven Mile Bridge.

Airline and cruise ship arrivals have resumed into Key West. Traffic is flowing on the Florida Keys Overseas Highway.