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Irma Brings Flooding And Disaster To Jacksonville, Florida

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Hurricane Irma: Utility companies prepare for major power outages

It affected all 35 counties in the utility's territory, which is most of the state's Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St.

Key West police urged anyone riding out the storm in that city to "resist the urge" to go outside during the eye, the deceptively calm interlude in the middle of a hurricane.

116,000: Number of individuals in Floridain shelters as of yesterday (Sept. 10), according to a news release by the Florida governor's office.

Irma's peak winds of 105 miles per hour, with higher gusts, had dropped 20 miles per hour from the morning, making it a Category 2 hurricane (down from a Category 4).

When water raced through the streets of Jacksonville, it brought record levels of storm surge along the coast and inland rivers.

Authorities have sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to aid search-and-rescue operations amid reports of wide devastation in the hurricane-battered Florida Keys.

The storm was earlier pummelling the area around the city of Fort Myers.Irma has already devastated parts of the Caribbean, killing at least 28 people. One swung vigorously over downtown Miami.

Flooding, roof damage and floating appliances and furniture were reported in the low-lying Keys, but with the storm still hitting around midday, the full extent of Irma's wrath was not clear.

Two other cranes toppled earlier in Miami as Irma swirled up the state.

Hurricane Irma: Utility companies prepare for major power outages

Officials permitted some residents to return to their island homes Tuesday.

This is how big Hurricane Irma is.

Continued weakening was forecast and the U.S. National Hurricane Center said Irma was expected to become a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later in the day Monday.

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

Irma made its second US landfall at Marco Island at about 3:30 p.m. One stretch of the bay was six feet below normal tide. No injuries have been reported. Officials warned it could take weeks for electricity to be restored to everyone. Miami Beach barred outsiders from the island.

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi said relief will arrive on a C-130 military plane Monday morning at the Key West International Airport.

In one of the largest US evacuations, almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to seek shelter, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

Irma, meanwhile, was making its way north after making landfall on the southwestern coast of Florida.

But then Irma made a more pronounced westward shift - the result of what meteorologists said was an atmospheric tug-of-war between weather systems that nudged Irma and determined when it made its crucial right turn into Florida. Evacuees Of The Keys shared school closure notices, videos of destruction, and many posts from friends and relatives searching for loved ones.

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