KEY WEST — Florida Keys residents have doused hurricane flags in rum and burned them to mark the end of the tumultuous 2017 Atlantic hurricane season.
The Thursday evening ceremony came after three major hurricanes - Harvey, Irma and Maria - pummeled parts of the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
Irma’s impacts varied in the Keys. Most Key Largo and Key West residents and businesses were either little affected or have recovered. In other parts of the island chain, especially the Big Pine Key region, recovery has been much slower.
The flag-burning ceremony attracted about 400 people and included a speech by the Keys emergency management director praising the resilience and spirit of the area’s citizens.