Hurricane Irma wreaked havoc with many parts of Florida this past September causing some historic winds and damage. I have spent a lot of time in many of the areas that were impacted and hope that the damage was kept at a minimum. One of the places that I wondered about was Key West and Dry Tortugas National Park. It always amazes me how quickly disasters seem to fade from the news, sometimes days after they occur, and trying to find out about recovery efforts is difficult at best. From what I can tell, Key West hotels have reopened and recovery efforts are moving along slowly, but the challenge is that many residents homes were destroyed and only time will tell how well it recovers.
While Key West was on many minds due to the impact to people's lives, Dry Tortugas National Park was more about the impact on history and Fort Jefferson. Dry Tortugas is located about 70 miles west of Key West and is reachable by boat or seaplane. The park consists of seven islands, but it is the massive Fort Jefferson that is the main attraction. Fort Jefferson is the largest masonry structure in the Western Hemisphere, being built with over 16 million bricks. My suspicion was that this massive structure survived, but it is hard to find out what impact Irma had on it. The park is open with some areas closed to visitors, so I suspect that the damage was minimal. Let's hope so.
This photo is from my visit there back in 2013, of one of the walkways in the fort displaying just a few of the 16 million bricks that make up the fort.