Hurricane Irma lashes Florida Gulf Coast

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Hurricane Irma lashes Florida Gulf Coast

If the water hadn't pushed out, Shiveley said, storm surge could have been in the eight or nine-foot range. She had no further details.

As of midmorning, Irma's outer bands were also blowing into Georgia, where the storm's center was expected to arrive later in the day.

The Cuban government reported on Monday that 10 people had been killed after Irma battered the island's north coast with ferocious winds and 36-foot (11-m) waves over the weekend.

Hurricane Irma has already left behind a path of destruction in the Caribbean, laying ruin to islands such as Saint Martin, Saint Barthélemy, and Barbuda. But Shiveley said the water never crested over the city's barriers.

He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned".

In the days before and just after Hurricane Irma came ashore in the Florida Keys over the weekend, demand by people fleeing the storm drained at least 60 percent of the gas stations in Miami-Fort Lauderdale and Gainesville. Brock said no injuries had been reported.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, and school was canceled in communities around the state.

A similar warning covered parts of SC and most of eastern Alabama, where schools and businesses were closed Monday. For now, the storm is out over the ocean and it will remain there for a while. Florida's largest utility, Florida Power & Light, said western parts of the state might be without electricity until September 22.

As well as making preparations at its operating nuclear plants at Vogtle and Hatch, Georgia Power also put took action at the Vogtle nuclear construction site, where two AP1000 reactors are being built.

Deaths: A man was killed in Sandy Springs, an Atlanta suburb, when a tree fell and "literally cut the home in half", said Sharon Kraun, the city's communications director. After rescuing people and clearing the streets of debris, power restoration will have to be the first priority for recovery. "To the public in their homes who are trying to ride out this storm, we urge you to not get on the roads until you have been given clearance by everyone who is required to give clearance".

Georgia's coast was largely empty after evacuations were ordered for the second time in less than year.

Mass evacuations jammed highways heading north and created a severe gas shortage in parts of Florida days before Irma hit.

"It will be just rain showers, and we won't have any wind", said Aaron Tyburski, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in State College. Downtown Savannah saw winds Monday strong enough to make palm trees bend and sway. No serious injuries were reported. Officials will continue to coordinate with state and local officials along with emergency personnel to determine MARTA's service schedule for Tuesday, spokesman Erik Burton said.

"On the forecast track, the center of 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". She says the utility company had about 3,400 employees on standby to respond.

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