Irma, Now a Tropical Storm, Leaves Six Million Without Power in Florida

Irma, Now a Tropical Storm, Leaves Six Million Without Power in Florida

Towns along Florida's southwestern coast are a haven for retirees seeking warm weather and attractive sunsets across the Gulf of Mexico, but many of their communities are still cleaning up or without power or air conditioning after Irma.

A child wield as broom at his family's flooded gas station in Everglades City on September 11, 2017, the day after Hurricane Irma struck.

Winds knocked a utility pole and power lines onto a sheriff's cruiser late Sunday in Polk County east of Tampa, illustrating the risky conditions for emergency personnel.

Irma's threat prompted Tampa officials to order a 6 p.m. curfew for Sunday evening. Eastern and moving at a fast clip of 14 miles per hour.

Heading north, in Charleston, which has experienced record flooding from Irma's storm surge, roughly 13 percent of the stations were without gas.

Meanwhile, millions who evacuated ahead of the storm are now returning to homes without electricity.

Irma and Harvey mark the first time that two category four storms have made landfall in the the same year.

It is going to cost tens of billions of dollars to replace homes and fix infrastructures destroyed by the two storms.

"It's only been 48 hours after the storm hit, and it's absolutely remarkable what has been accomplished", Florida State Sen.

Numerous students were tracking Irma since the beginning of last week, and for a while, Tampa was in the clear and was even able to offer help to people on the east coast. In the Turks and Caicos Islands, for instance, preliminary reports said that 80 to 90 percent of households were damaged on South Caicos, 70 percent on Providenciales, and 50 percent on Grand Turk Island, according to the WHO. Then the calm eye moved overhead.

Naples saw 6-foot storm surges and nearly 12 inches of rain. But there was a severe shortage of food and water, and widespread looting was reported.

Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm over Florida, but it still had winds near hurricane force.

Irma's maximum sustained winds had decreased to 45 miles (72 kilometers) per hour as of 8:00 pm (0000 GMT). Miami's airport is 35 percent operational and expects to be back to 100 percent by Friday. Social media photos and videos showed water pouring through Miami's streets, in between high-rises, amid sideways sheets of rains. "You know, I'm not stupid, but I thought I could get back", the 42-year resident of the Keys said.

Emergency managers in the islands declared on Monday "the Keys are not open for business" and warned that there was no fuel, electricity, running water or cell service and that supplies were low and anxiety high.

In the Jacksonville area, close to the Georgia line, storm surge brought some of the worst flooding ever seen there, with at least 46 people pulled from swamped homes.

When a Category 5 hurricane is churning through the Atlantic toward Florida, "I don't think you can overdo it", said Lake County Commissioner Sean Parks.

Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers said Monday that people had been killed in the Keys, where almost 80,000 permanent residents live, apart from one already known fatality.

Gastesi says they are "prepared for the worst".

In Hollywood, Florida, eight patients at a sweltering nursing home died after Hurricane Irma knocked out the air conditioning, raising fears Wednesday about the safety of Florida's 4 million senior citizens amid power outages that could last for days. Millions more who hunkered down in their homes heeded advice, hammered home in round-the-clock briefings from Gov. In Florida alone, 12 deaths have been reported so far. The current forecast has Jose coming about 500 miles away from the SC coast by Sunday, moving due north and staying well offshore.

Parts of the Florida Keys, the low-lying islands which bore the brunt of Hurricane Irma, have since reopened.

The White House Press Secretary told reporters Wednesday that Trump will be in the Naples and Fort Myers area, but did not provide any specific details about what stops the president plans to make.

Massive power outages are crippling much of the Southeast on Tuesday. Even so, because of Irma's enormous size, the entire Florida Peninsula and even the Panhandle were likely to witness damaging winds.



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