Parts of Florida Keys to reopen to residents after Irma
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Residents have been cleared to return to certain portions of the Florida Keys after the chain of islands was closed off ahead of Hurricane Irma. 

Monroe County officials said Saturday that residents of the Upper and Middle Keys, which include Marathon and Layton, are free to return to their homes after evacuating ahead of the storm that barreled into Florida last Sunday.

Residents of the Lower Keys and Key West will be allowed to return home on Sunday at daybreak, the officials said in a statement.


The island chain, which suffered some of the worst damage in Florida from Hurricane Irma, remains closed to visitors.

Officials also warned of a lack of electricity, water and food and debris on the roads, and said that the law enforcement presence between the Seven Mile Bridge and Key West will be "saturated" once the area reopens. 

Hurricane Irma plowed into the Keys as a Category 4 storm early Sunday, dealing massive damage to the islands. Residents who evacuated have been barred from returning to their homes in the Keys since the storm hit. 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) travelled to the Keys on Friday to survey the damage from the storm, where he vowed to rebuild the communities devastated by the storm.

"The goal is to be helpful,” he said. “We are all in this together and we’re going to do everything we can to get the Keys and this entire state back."