Irma knocks out power to over three million in Florida: utilities

What is a storm surge? Florida is hit with flooding during Hurricane Irma

A pickup truck drives through the storm surge flood waters after the full effects of Hurricane Irma struck in Miami

Before this, Hurricane Irma has already wreaked havoc in Cuba leading to devastation in the form of ripped roofs and flooding along with power outage for several thousand.

"We tried to warn everybody, and for the most part they have left, but that is a bad path to be in", he said, referring to the people who ignored orders to evacuate and stayed back along the coast.

The governors of North and SC warned residents to remain on guard even as the storm took a more westward track, saying their states still could experience severe weather, including heavy rain and flash flooding, early next week.

The challenges in the immediate aftermath of the storm will be many: Restoring across the state, removing debris from roads, dealing with possible fuel shortages, and making sure nursing home and hospital patients who were evacuated can safely return.

22-year-old Ryon Edwards from Daytona Beach told BBC that he made the event out of sheer "stress and boredom".

"The water was already at the corner near my house".

"Right now, we're anxious about lives, not cost", Trump said.

In a separate accident, a man lost control of a truck in strong winds in Key West. "It feels like nothing is left", she said, adding that only concrete buildings, some of them badly damaged, were still standing.

"I hope there aren't too many people in that path", Trump said.

Yet still some locals came out into the streets on bicycles to check on their friends and relatives.

Puerto Rico, an unincorporated U.S. territory, managed to avoid a direct hit from Irma but suffered strong winds and torrential rains.

"I'm afraid even this house will fall down. And I am afraid for the neighbors".

Normally bustling streets were ghost towns.

Irma achieved Category 5 storm status as it made its way to Cuba.

Irma is seen costing at least 1.2 billion euros ($1.4 billion) in Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, a French public reinsurance body said on Saturday.

Hurricane Irma is now ravaging the west coast of Florida, on track toward Tampa, as a almost 400-mile wide category 2 storm.

Looting broke out on the island, home to about 72,000 people, and security forces were deployed to deal with the problem, French and Dutch authorities said Friday.

Enormous waves lashed the Malecon, the capital's emblematic seafront, causing seawaters to wash some 250 meters into the city, AFP journalists found.

Duke said there is spent nuclear fuel at its Crystal River plant, located about 90 miles north of Tampa.

"At the moment, it's not so high, but there's times when it rises and you must run inside", she said. Miami-Dade County has asked people to stay put, even as Irma heads up the Gulf Coast.

Cuban provinces of Holguin and Las Tunas have been warned of a tropical storm threat.

"For five days, we were told it was going to be on the east coast, and then 24 hours before it hits, we're now told it's coming up the west coast", said Jeff Beerbohm, a 52-year-old entrepreneur in St. Petersburg.

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