Key West welcomes back iconic sign lost during Hurricane Irma


Nearly eight months after it went missing during Hurricane Irma, the famous welcome sign greeting visitors to Key West is back on its U.S. 1 perch proclaiming the Conch Republic "Paradise USA." 

RELATED: Lost after Hurricane Irma, Key West's welcome sign found

The sign was damged during Irma and disappeared around Sept. 10, when the Category 4 storm made landfall at 9 a.m. at Cudjoe Key. But it turned up in October under mysterious circumstances, a bit worse for wear and in need of refubishment.

On Monday, May 1, the refurbished sign was reinstalled by the Rotary Club of Key West, according to WLRN. Key West's three Rotary Clubs contributed $6,000 for the repairs, the treasurer of the Rotary Club of Key West, Linda Russin, told WLRN.

RELATED: Another Irma-damaged welcome sign missing in the Keys

"People love this sign and they will stop and come over and take a picture in front of the sign," she said.

RELATED: After Hurricane Irma: Keys tourism push includes images of damage

Key West's mayor, Craig Cates, said the return of the sign shows "we’re back after the storm and we’re looking forward to the future." 

• More from WLRN

MORE: Irma in the Keys
• What Florida Keys bars, hotels, landmarks survived storm? 
• What celebrity’s home was destroyed in Key West? 
• At the Southernmost Point - close to home, yet still too far away


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