Keys slowly reopen to residents, business owners

Chris Morgan walks to the large boats on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017, that beached onto the property she stayed during Hurricane Irma's storm surge in Key Largo, Fla. Florida is cleaning up and embarking on rebuilding from Hurricane Irma, one of the most destructive hurricanes in its history. (Al Diaz/Miami Herald via AP)

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

10:45 a.m.

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.

___

10 a.m.

Students in two of the nation’s largest school districts still don’t know when they’ll return to class, forcing many Florida parents to juggle childcare as they head into a second week of recovering from Hurricane Irma.

Miami-Dade and Broward counties had hoped to resume operations Monday. But dozens of schools in the two districts – which serve almost 700,000 students – are still without power. An announcement is expected this weekend.

The uncertainty is putting additional stress on parents trying to return to work.

Forty-five-year-old Lori Eickleberry took her 10-year-old daughter to her office. She said it’s challenging, “but we kept busy with activities, some coloring.”

In some southwest Florida districts, classes have been postponed until Sept. 25. In Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, students remain in limbo.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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