While reporting on Irma’s aftermath in the Florida Keys, we noticed something odd.
Irma smashed trailers, boats and docks, but most of those giant statues outside tourist attractions stood tall against the winds and the storm surge.
Not even an antenna was bent on that gigantic spiny lobster statue outside the Rain Barrel Village in Islamorada.
Two giant conch statues, at Shell World in Key Largo and Theater of the Sea in Islamorada, also breezed through Irma’s rampage, although the marine animal park remains closed due to extensive storm damage and is asking for donations for repairs on its Facebook page. The park’s large animals survived, but many fish were lost when a telephone pole fell on a pump.
Nor could Irma topple the 25-foot, 15,000-pound Seward Johnson statue, “The Kiss,” outside the Key West Custom House Museum that recreates Alfred Eisenstaedt’s 1945 photo of a sailor kissing a nurse.
The concrete sewer connection known as Key West’s Southernmost Point “buoy” lost some paint to relentless waves, but remains proudly at a point near, if not actually at, the southern tip of the U.S.
How did other of our favorite Keys landmarks, restaurants and bars fare during the storm?
Hemingway House, Key West
The six-toed cats are fine, and so is Hemingway’s former home, but the museum is closed until crews can clean up the grounds and Key West’s water and electricity are fully restored, according to its website.
Sloppy Joe’s, Key West
After a thorough cleaning, the Duval Street bar re-opened last Wednesday.
Captain Tony’s Saloon, Key West
The former morgue isn’t dead yet and apparently plans to reopen soon. “Hang on to your Capt. Tony’s cups ‘cause they will be filled again,” said the bar’s Facebook page.
Green Parrot, Key West
“Sorry, We’re Open,” reads a sign on the Facebook page of the city’s longtime drinking and live music establishment, but the shutters go up at 7 p.m. to comply with curfew.
Alabama Jack’s, Key Largo
Could anyone tell if a hurricane roughed up this beloved 60-year-old roadhouse on a barge on Card Sound Road? It opened for drinks following a good disenfecting after Irma’s storm surge; food service will depend on power restoration, said the restaurant’s Facebook page.
Snappers, Key Largo
Snappers, an open air Tiki bar that employed 80 people, is closed after significant storm damage. “…in the spirit of the Conch Republic, remember: We will Rebuild,” says the website, where fans can donate to the rebirth.
Robbie’s , Islamorada
Robbie’s is closed after losing its docks, where tourists fed leaping tarpon, but is rebuilding, says a recorded message.
Postcard Inn, Islamorada
A Twitter message says the former Holiday Isle resort is closed until further notice.
Lorelei Restaurant and Cabana Bar, Islamorada
With no major damage, the Lorelei is serving breakfast, lunch and dinner with limited curfew hours, and still has live music, says the restaurant’s website.
The Moorings, Islamorada
The oceaside resort is closed and not accepting reservations for the remainder of 2017, says the resort’s website, where much of the tropical noir Netflix series “Bloodline” was filmed. Aerial photos show the dock featured prominently in the show was badly damaged.
Morada Bay, Islamorada
The phone didn’t work on this sunset celebration favorite, but a photo on Twitter shows little damage to the bayside beach restaurants, owned by The Moorings.
Dolphin Research Center, Grassy Key
Located near Irma’s landfall, the DRC’s website says the attraction is closed and offers a way for fans to donate to repairs.
The Turtle Hospital, Marathon
No turtles were injured during the storm, according to the website, but the facility is closed until the Keys’ infrastructure is repaired.
National Key Deer Refuge, Big Pine Key
Due to widespread damage to buildings, vehicles and habitat, all Florida Keys Refuges are closed, including the Key Deer Refuge, Crocodile Lake in Key Largo and the Great White Heron Refuge in the lower Keys. U.S. Fish and Wildlife crews arrived September 14 to make repairs.
No Name Pub, Big Pine Key
Closed but still standing, says the Facebook page for the beloved dive bar covered with hanging dollar bills.
Sugarloaf Lodge, Sugarloaf Shores
The lower Keys favorite lost its sign, but not its tiki bar, according to its Facebook page. It’s closed until owners can assess damage.
Bat Tower, Sugarloaf Key
A 1929 quirky attempt at biological mosquito control near Irma’s landfall collapsed, according to satellite images. After building the 30-foot tower, Richter Clyde Perky, who owned a fishing lodge, stuffed it with bats who promptly flew off into the night and disappeared.
The Florida Keys remains closed to tourists following Hurricane Irma, while water and electricity are restored and storm damage repaired.
Key West expects to re-open on October 20, in time for Fantasy Fest, while other areas will be open earlier and some will take many more months to repair.