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Keys Officials Said They Didn’t Need Help With Post-Irma Cleanup — But Email Says Otherwise

Chabeli Herrera
Miami Herald
Debris from Hurricane Irma lines the road on Oct. 5, 2017, in Big Pine Key in the Florida Keys. Irma swept through the Keys as a Category 4 storm on Sept. 10, 2017.

A federal audit looking into controversial and lucrative emergency debris removal contracts approved by the state after Hurricane Irma blasted the Keys last year was launched by Florida members of Congress who said Monroe County never requested the state come in and help with debris removal.

But a Sept. 28, 2017, email sent by Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi to Florida Department of Transportation Secretary Mike Dew, which was obtained by the Miami Herald/FLKeysNews.com this week through a public records request, clearly states the county did ask for FDOT’s help in clearing the piles of debris from county and other municipality roads.

In the email, Gastesi writes: “Our debris removal contractor is struggling with clearing up the Florida Keys. With this email, we are asking you to task your debris removal contractor(s) currently working in the Keys to perform debris removal and disposal in county roads, and city roads in the cities of Layton and Key Colony Beach.”

Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald

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