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Thousands Of Damaged Boats Removed From Florida Waters Since Hurricane Irma Hit

Chris O’Meara
Associated Press
A boat rests on its side in what is normally six feet of water in Old Tampa Bay, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Tampa. Hurricane Irma, and an unusual low tide pushed water out into the Gulf of Mexico.

More than 2,000 vessels damaged or grounded by Hurricane Irma have been removed from state waters since the September storm, the U.S. Coast Guard announced Monday.

Nearly three-fourths of the 2,069 boats were in the Florida Keys. The Coast Guard, which is working with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, is prioritizing vessels based on potential environmental impacts.

Boat owners are encouraged to hire salvage companies.

The state has estimated that each vessel costs $25,000 to $40,000 to remove.

Hurricane Irma made landfall Sept. 10 in the Keys before making a second landfall in Collier County and traveling up the state.