As Irma Moves Out of Florida, Neighboring States Prepare For Storm's Impact

12 September, 2017, 15:00 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Fort Myers is seen as surf and winds begin to kick up in advance of Hurricane Irma in Sanibel Island

Irma made landfall on the Keys early Sunday morning with triple-digit wind gusts and heavy rain that had already wrecked havoc in the Caribbean.

From Miami to Naples and Tampa, popular beaches up and down the coast bore the brunt of Irma's strength as powerful, and unsafe, storm surges continued on Monday.

At 5:00 AM ET on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Irma to a Category 1 storm, though it continues to batter Northern Florida with heavy rains and sustained wind speeds of 75 miles per hour at its center.

At least 1.4 million Florida homes and businesses had lost power as the storm pummeled the southern part of the state, according to Florida Power & Light.

Meanwhile, some viewers were questioning the reporters' decision to stay out in the storm.

Weakening, Irma still delivers 130 miles per hour coast-to-coast pummeling of Florida
In Bonita Springs, on Florida's hard-hit southwest coast, large areas were flooded and the entire city was without power. Tampa's storm surge could be between five and eight feet. "This is your last chance to make a good decision, " Gov.


Irma hit southwest Florida on Sunday morning as a unsafe Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

The National Guard was assisting in the recovery, county administrators said. and the aircraft carrier USS Lincoln is headed to Key West, along with three other navy vessels, where they will anchor and provide emergency services.

After leaving the coast of Cuba, Irma barrelled through the Florida Keys, a chain of low-lying islands to the south, on Sunday morning.

The Tampa Bay area feared a direct hit from a major hurricane, but ended up getting more of a sideways swipe from a weakened Irma.

Daylight brought an opportunity to assess the damage in South Florida, although the full extent of the devastation remains unclear. A total of 7 million people were told to evacuate ahead of the storm. "If you look out your window right now, we have tropical storm wind gusts".

Irma downgraded but troubles remain
A 10- to 15-foot storm surge that was predicted did not materialize; Murphy said the storm surge was between 3 and 4 feet. So there's concern that structures there might not be as strongly built as some of - more down in South Florida .


The disturbance has now been downgraded to tropical storm status.

Florida's largest utility reported that the storm had knocked out power to almost three-quarters of its customers.

Reports say that 10,000 people made a decision to ride out the storm. Cities flooded, power lines were downed and trees were uprooted across the state. Gov.

- Miami streets turned into raging rivers, and the city's airport is closed because of significant water damage.

"It's bad now", Angie Enyedi, National Weather Service meteorologist, said Monday.

Hurricane Irma to become tropical storm on Monday: NHC
Irma remains off the west coast of Florida as it moves past Miami, but the city is being buffeted by high winds and heavy rain. With Irma, the forecast track along the Gulf coastline will expose more of Florida's cities to the stronger side of the storm.


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