Coast Guard Sector Key West personnel begin returning to Key West

Coast Guard Sector Key West LogoORLANDO, Fla. – Coast Guard personnel assigned to Coast Guard Sector Key West will begin returning to the Florida Keys, Monday, after a temporary relocation to Orlando due to Hurricane Irma.

Only essential personnel will be returning to Key West at this time since infrastructure is still not steadily in place with electrical power, water, telecommunications and other necessary resources being in limited supply.

Approximately 250 Coast Guard personnel relocated to Orlando and stood up an incident command post to coordinate operations, port reconstitution and relief efforts for the Florida Keys.

“Although we realize that living and working conditions in Key West are not optimal right now, we feel it is important for essential personnel to return to the Keys so we can start getting back to normal operations,” said Cmdr. Lexia Littlejohn, deputy incident commander, Sector Key Incident Command Post. “We will continue with our efforts to reconstitute the Port of Key West, but we will also be monitoring Hurricane Maria as it moves in our direction.”

Currently much of the Sector Key West infrastructure is operating on generator power but the main building is on intermittent city and generator power. Meanwhile operators and responders from federal, state and local agencies continue work on relief and cleanup efforts. They are living in tents and sleeping on cots with sleeping bags that were brought in and set up to house Coast Guard personnel while building assessments on the structures of buildings at Sector Key West and Naval Air Station Key West are evaluated.

The Coast Guard personnel not returning to the Keys will remain in Orlando and will continue operations from there.

For imagery and video of the Hurricane Irma response, please visit our Flicker page.

For information on the progress of Hurricane Maria and hurricane preparedness, please visit the National Hurricane Center‘s webpage.

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