Thursday, 14 December, 2017

Irma: Record flooding in Jacksonville as Georgia braces for epic storm surge

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Marlene Weaver | 13 September, 2017, 03:56

Over six million homes and business in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama have been hit by power cuts as a result of storm Irma. At that time, the Battery was pounded by storm surges, which broke over the sea wall in the harbor.

Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm over Florida, but it still had winds near hurricane force. The danger comes not only from the flooding, but from downed trees and power lines in the water.

Schools and businesses were closed across Alabama as Irma moved inland.

Mandatory evacuation affected almost 650,000 people in Miami-Dade county, and more than 1.3million people overall. The governor said the route also needs to be cleared of debris and sand, but should be usable fairly quickly.

The storm could still deliver wind gusts up to 73 miles per hour as it barrels northwest into Alabama early Tuesday, and weaken further to a tropical depression, with gusts up to 39 miles per hour, as it arrives in northern MS and western Tennessee on Tuesday afternoon. The system, which is now 644km wide, may have lost some strength, but it's continuing to produce heavy winds and rain as it marches northwards towards Georgia.

The National Hurricane Center says Irma has weakened into a tropical depression, according to its 11 p.m. ET advisory. Water reached the children's auto seats by the time rescuers were able to get to them. Most of the outages are in Savannah, Ga., and the surrounding areas. Key West, Marco Island, FL, and Naples, FL, all appear to have sustained significant water damage from the storm surge and winds. The next high tide is just after noon Monday.

With rough conditions persisting across Florida, many communities in Irma's wake feared what destruction would be revealed as daylight allowed authorities to canvass neighborhoods.

Bitcoin Is 'Fraud,' Cryptocurrency Bubble Will Collapse, Says JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon
The cryptocurrency "won't end well", he told an investor conference in NY on Tuesday, predicting it will eventually blow up. Believers can bet on its rise, and Dimon is welcome to take the other side, he said.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 miles per hour with additional weakening expected.

Now the entire Georgia coast is under a storm surge warning as Irma continues its destructive march north.

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.

A state of emergency has been declared in Georgia, South Carolina, Virginia and Florida. It could be many weeks before all customers are restored.

- One person was found dead in Orange County in a single-car accident linked to the storm, police said without providing details.

On the Atlantic coast off South Carolina, Hilton Head Island's 42,000 residents were under an evacuation order this morning.

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