For Miami residents, life is far from back to normal after Hurricane Irma. There's no power — and probably won't be for days or even weeks. Cell service is spotty. Canned beans have become an every-meal staple.
But a few parts of Dade County are getting back to business. Miami International Airport is reopening "on a limited basis" today and some of the tens of thousands of locals who fled the storm are likely to be flying back in on the first flights.
And after an angst-filled Monday of choked causeways and angry locals, Miami Beach is finally letting residents return today.
MIA shut down completely in the
Airport crews have cleaned up the damage enough that parts of the airport can reopen today, though. "Given that many airlines are not operating their full schedules, passengers should contact their airline directly to confirm flight status before coming to the airport," MIA warns on Twitter.
Miami Beach, meanwhile, issued mandatory evacuation orders last week, and many of the island's 90,000 residents took heed and fled across Biscayne Bay. When many of them tried to return yesterday, they were met by police officers blocking the causeways. City officials said too many trees and power lines were down around the barrier island to allow anyone back in.
As traffic chaos piled up on the bridge, angry drivers screamed at police. Some business owners lashed out at the city over its extended curfew and questioned whether it would hurt efforts to evacuate in the future.
After initially saying cars would be banned from returning until noon today, the city reopened the causeways at 7 a.m.
Miami Beach Cswys are now open to everyone. Expect delays and use caution. Welcome home!— City of Miami Beach (@MiamiBeachNews) September 12, 2017
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Videos from the Beach show heavy congestion, though, as tens of thousands try to return home from wherever they sheltered during the storm.
Many other parts of Miami life are going to take much longer to return to normal. As of yesterday, 1.8 million homes and businesses in South Florida had no power. By this morning, 5 million homes statewide are still dark; armies of FPL crews are working to restore access, but they warn it could take weeks.
Both Miami-Dade and Broward's school systems are indefinitely closed as officials assess damage and wait for power; one Miami-Dade school member says schools are "unlikely" to reopen this week.