Hurricane Irma Hits Southwest Florida Then Moves North


Jones told reporters Sunday he believes more people evacuated Savannah and nearby communities for Irma than left ahead of Matthew previous year.

But forecasters have warned the threat to life still remains, as Florida continues to be battered by 100mph winds and torrential rain.

"The most recent forecast suggests that part of the state will see tropical storm conditions", Ivey said. "This is an extremely unsafe and life-threatening situation".

Hurricanes Harvey and Irma have been awful, but doesn't it feel like the response has been... well, better?

Then, the storm will head toward Sarasota and Tampa, which can expect a five to eight-foot storm surge. Both units at its Turkey Point facility, located about 30 miles (48 km) south of Miami, were shut by early Monday. Now those winds are reaching into Broward, toppling trees and power lines. The waters took their toll on Miami Beach and downtown Miami, leaving some areas in Brickell with waist-deep flooding. FEMA officials estimated that 25 percent of homes were completely destroyed, while another 65 percent suffered serious damage. Perhaps the days, weeks, and months after Hurricane Katrina set a low bar, but these past few weeks have shown us the worst of times being met with the best of America. Storm surges also swamped some coastal areas in Georgia and SC. In Puerto Rico, hundreds of thousands of people remain without power.

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Although Miami is likely to escape a direct strike from Irma, the hurricane is tracking up Florida's west coast, it has still faced extensive damage.

Irma hit southwestern Florida on Sunday morning as a unsafe Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. Here's Florida's governor, Rick Scott.

In Florida and southern Georgia, more than 8 million people face hurricane-force winds topping 74 miles per hour, said Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics.

According to some reports, almost 4 million to 5 million homes and businesses in Florida lost power, and utility officials said it could take weeks to restore electricity to everyone. Although the storm has long since departed the Keys, some of the islands are so devastated - mainly, Key Largo, which is blocking access to those Keys further west - that Florida authorities refuse to allow residents to reenter.