National Hurricane Center says Irma is impacting all of South Florida

14 September, 2017, 04:53 | Author: Lula Armstrong
  • Hurricane Irma Tracks West Away from NC

But Irma has shifted, and forecasts now show it moving up the west coast Sunday and Monday, hitting Naples and Fort Meyers before reaching Tampa.

As Irma left Florida and marched across the southeast this week, it knocked out power in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Scott took a number of steps to help resupply tapped-out gas stations, including waiving state taxes and restrictions on fuel delivery and persuading federal officials to waive federal regulations.

Florida was not alone.

At the end of last week Florida was bracing itself for one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic, but this week it is clear the U.S. state was spared much of the predicted devastation.

Limited service has now resumed at several of Florida's airports, including at Miami International.

While Florida may have escaped the worst from the monster storm which first pummeled the Caribbean, the death toll jumped to at least 40 as Cuba said 10 people had been killed there over the weekend as Irma spun northward.

In Florida, the eye-popping numbers on the blackout did not tell the full story.

In any case, forecasters said the shear environment will keep the hurricane relatively weak, with maximum expected winds of 80 miles per hour throughout the next few days.

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Floridians will remain at risk of prolonged power outages as long as they are served by overhead power lines.

An estimated 5.8 million properties across the state were still without power yesterday, down from around 7.4 million on Monday.

"We've got a lot of work to do, but everybody's going to come together", Florida governor Rick Scott said.

"I don't have a house".

Meanwhile, there are no disturbances in the Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean or eastern Atlantic that are expected to develop into a new tropical storm over the next several days.

Shawn Gillen, Tybee Island's city manager, said waters appeared to be receding quickly but the flooding was extensive on the island of more than 3,000 residents.

The state and the American Red Cross opened four shelters Saturday, including one at Johnston County Industries on Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield, in case they're needed to house people who fled Florida and other states in advance of the storm. But there were no immediate plans underway to move people from the island chain. "Not out", Jacksonville's website warned residents. The St. Johns River, which cuts through the city, overflowed its banks, flooding bridges and streets.

Speaking Monday morning on MSNBC's "Morning Joe", Buckhorn said "What we thought was going to be a punch in the face was a glancing blow".

Irma inflicted the worst flooding in decades on Jacksonville and other parts of Florida.

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Some 6.7 million customers are without power, and officials warn it could be weeks before the electricity is fully restored.

Irma was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression Monday night, but is still expected to bring torrential rainfall as far north as North Carolina on Tuesday.

What she didn't expect, she said, was the possibility that the blackout could last for days.

It became clear, Miller said, that her neighborhood would not be the priority. A city employee in Columbia, South Carolina, died Monday after being critically injured in a vehicle crash as he responded to a report of a downed tree, the city said. "Can't cook. Can't see". "And now there's no one to clean the trees up".

- A storm surge warning wraps around the state, from Brevard County to Tampa Bay. "Every day you saw the models changing", Zumpano said. Large trees toppled over, roots dangling in the air.

Lower Keys resident Leyla Nedin said she doesn't plan to return anytime soon to her home near where Irma came ashore on Cudjoe Key. His boat was fine, and he and his sister looked in disbelief at the submerged boats in the bay that weren't so lucky. "But hey, you live by the ocean ... you got to take chances".

Buckhorn added, "We know we are ground zero for this storm".

Berman reported from Washington.

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