Keys slowly reopen to residents, business owners

In this Sept. 13th 2017, photo, a house with its roof blown off by Hurricane Irma in Summerland Key, in the Florida Keys. Rising sea levels and fierce storms have failed to stop relentless population growth along U.S. coasts in recent years, a new Associated Press analysis shows. The latest punishing hurricanes scored bull’s-eyes on two of the country’s fastest growing regions: coastal Texas around Houston and resort areas of southwest Florida. (AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

MIAMI (AP) – The Latest on Hurricane Irma in Florida (all times local):

Officials in the Florida Keys are stepping up plans to let residents and business owners re-enter the area to check on their property.

Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said in an email that residents, business owners, disaster workers and supply workers can go all the way to Marathon, at Mile Marker 47 just north of the 7 Mile Bridge, on Saturday.

At 7 a.m. Sunday, the county plans to open up U.S. 1 to those same groups all the way to Key West.

A checkpoint in Florida City, on the mainland south of Miami, will remain in place to ensure only these groups are admitted into the Keys.

Clark said an additional checkpoint at Mile Marker 47 will control admittance into the Lower Keys.

She advises anyone re-entering the county to understand that medical services, food, water and electricity are extremely limited. Anyone returning should bring provisions to sustain themselves for several days.

(Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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