Residents return to Florida Keys as Irma death toll increases

13 September, 2017, 16:03 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Tampa Bay area counties, cities issuing curfews ahead of Hurricane Irma

It was the first Category 5 hurricane to hit the tropical Atlantic since Hugo in 1989, Klotzbach says. The NHC said that it is weakening, while retaining hurricane strength before weakening to Category 1 strength.

A weakened Irma spread misery around the Southeast on Monday, triggering coastal flooding in parts of Georgia and SC while dumping heavy rains around the region. Forecasters expect it to become a tropical depression on Tuesday.

Irma will move near the northwestern coast of the Florida peninsula this morning, cross the eastern Florida panhandle into southern Georgia this afternoon, and move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday. It flooded streets and coastal areas, swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, cast boats ashore, snapped power lines and toppled construction cranes.

"It's going to take some time to let people back into their homes, particularly in the Florida Keys".

Warnings of hazardous storm surges remained in effect through vast swaths of peninsular Florida, where more than six million people had been ordered to flee Irma's path - one of the biggest evacuations in United States history.

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Several people have lost their lives across southern Florida in vehicle accidents which may well be blamed on the storm once police have a chance to investigate.

But with an aerial photograph, NASA captured another indication of the storm's devastation - it changed the color of some Caribbean islands.

"There's no electricity throughout the Keys". The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

"By far this is the largest impact we've had on the company", FPL president and CEO Eric Silagy said Monday. However, roads remain closed because of debris.

An unusually large hurricane, Irma left an exceptional swath of damage on both Florida coasts and almost everywhere in between.

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John Ward, the emergency operations manager of Clay County, said Monday morning that crews had saved 46 people, with an undetermined number still stranded, The Associated Press reported. Delta Air Lines is scrapping 900 flights Monday, including many at its Atlanta hub.

On the east coast we saw the typical water rise aided by strong winds pushing water inland.

Irma sustained its 185-mph winds for 37 hours - "the longest any cyclone around the globe has maintained that intensity on record", according to Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University. Tropical storm Katia was also expected to weaken relatively quickly in the coming days.

"There is the danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along portions of the coasts of Florida, Georgia and SC, where a Storm Surge Warning remains in effect".

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