Thursday, 23 November, 2017

Irma knocks out power to almost four million in Florida

Shorelines drained in eerie effect of Hurricane Irma Dylan Branscome Hurricane Irma slammed Florida
Nicole Thomas | 13 September, 2017, 00:14

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics said the entire Florida peninsula will be raked by Irma's right front quadrant - the part of a hurricane that usually brings the strongest winds, storm surge, rain and tornadoes. "But I'm also very concerned about the storm surge". Based upon the current forecast path, intensity and FPL's historical modeling, the company anticipates millions of customers could lose power.

How many people in the dangerously exposed, low-lying islands defied evacuation orders and stayed behind was unclear.

"In recorded history, there have been only three Category 5 hurricanes to make landfall on the U.S.", Nitz said.

Almost 4.5 million homes and businesses across Florida lost power, and utility officials said it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone.

Irma made landfall in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane at 9:10 a.m. EDT Sunday on Cudjoe Key in the Lower Keys, with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour and a storm surge of 10 feet, the National Hurricane Center said. In the Caribbean, at least 24 were people were killed during Irma's destructive trek across exclusive islands known as the vacation playground for the rich.

More than 180,000 people huddled in shelters in the Sunshine State. "What's going to happen now?"

In the Keys, where the storm roared ashore Sunday morning with winds of 130 miles per hour, video showed houses shoved from their foundations and boats tossed onto the pavement.

Naples was among the Florida cities pummeled by Hurricane Irma on September 10 - coincidentally the same day that Hurricane Donna devastated Naples 57 years ago, according to David Fralick, the city's communications manager.

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"The power's going to be out for a long time". "Let's just say a prayer we hope we make it through".

The whole of the southern tip of Florida has seen high winds, driving rain and storm surges.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties in his state ahead of Irma.

Several areas of Jacksonville, Fla. are flooded on Monday after the St. John's River overflowed. If the storm moved into the Gulf of Mexico, Masters said that surge could lean more towards 8 feet. "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".

Forecasters said it could hit the heavily populated Tampa-St.

The storm is still expected to travel through the state Georgia, into Alabama, and then into the Mid-South, based on the latest projections.

The centre of the system - America's second major hurricane in a week - lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm yesterday.

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

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