After meeting with those involved in emergency response efforts underway in the Florida Keys and assessing damage, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam on Friday morning joined Walmart associates and members of the National Guard to unload a truckload of water that the company donated to individuals affected by Hurricane Irma.

“Walmart made a commitment to support relief efforts in Florida even before Hurricane Irma arrived in the State, and we’re delivering on that promise by working with first-responders, elected officials and organizations on the ground to get the communities hardest hit the help they need,” said Walmart market manager for South Florida Marvin Balduff. “It’s part of a $30 million campaign that’s being driven in large part by our customers and associates – all in the name of U.S. hurricane relief.”

Residents of the mid-Florida Keys city of Marathon could be allowed to start returning as early as this weekend, a week after Hurricane Irma slammed the archipelago.

For days, evacuees from the lower and middle Keys have been turned away from a checkpoint state authorities set up near Mile Marker 74 on the Overseas Highway.

Recovery is only getting started, and some areas remain flooded. Utility companies are working to restore power to the battered Keys as frustrated evacuees emerge from shelters, ready to go home.

In Big Pine Key, about 10 miles east of where Category 4 Irma made landfall in Cudjoe Key on Sunday, the devastation was widespread. No structure was left untouched, with many among the estimated 25% of Florida Keys homes that were destroyed.

“While the devastation caused by Hurricane Irma is heartbreaking, the generosity of those who have stepped up to help others is overwhelming,” said Putnam. “I commend Walmart for their generous donations and support of disaster relief efforts.”

All but three Walmart stores in

Read More Here...