"If there's a freight train coming at you, then you get off the tracks", said Jason Buelterman, mayor of Tybee Island, a beach community of more than 3,000 residents east of Savannah. "We did a lot of praying with people just to calm them down". In addition to the overflowing St. Johns, other creeks and tributaries are swollen and have spilled over onto roadways.
Meanwhile, as dusk fell Saturday in Havana, the churning waters moved inland from the city's popular seafront boulevard.
Fort Myers is seen as surf and winds begin to kick up in advance of Hurricane Irma, in Sanibel Island, Fla., Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. Tides in Jacksonville have been higher than normal because of the lunar cycle, a pattern that aligned with Irma's arrival to damaging consequences. "Search and rescue teams are ready to deploy". He warned residents not to expect a quick re-opening. That covers downtown, San Marco, Riverside, South Hampton and Landon Park. Neighboring St. Petersburg announced a 5 p.m. curfew. But once the eye passes and the wind reverses, the water will rush back in.
They rented a vehicle and slipped out of their home in Palm Beach Gardens, Fla., mere hours before the roads clogged with other residents with similar plans. Use materials like bed sheets. Almost 540,000 people in Savannah and the rest of coastal Georgia were under evacuation orders for the second time since last October, when Hurricane Matthew raked the coast en route to SC.
Trees were down across some of the main highways through the town and billboards had collapsed, forming heaps of twisted metal beside the road.
The Category 4 storm made landfall in the Florida Keys early Sunday, still far from the capital city in the state's panhandle.
Irma dropped to tropical storm status Monday but is still very much a danger as it rumbles north over the Florida-Georgia line and into the Deep South after lashing most of the Sunshine State.
Clare Chilton, husband Hadley and their two children spent more than 24 hours holed up with a mattress protecting their heads during the worst of the hurricane. In southern Georgia, winds could gust up to 100 miles per hour. "This is the time to stay where you are".
The extent of the damage at the airport, the country's 12th largest, wasn't clear late Sunday. Hurricane Irma, and an unusual low tide pushed water out nearly hundreds of yards. The intersection of Hogan and Water streets looked like an extension of the river.
As the sun rose Monday, they also shared some of what they're seeing.
The latest course also still threatens Naples' mansion- and yacht-lined canals, Sun City Center's retirement homes, and Sanibel Island's shell-filled beaches. Forecasters predicted winds up to 60 miles per hour (95 kph) on Monday morning with gusts possibly reaching hurricane force of 75 miles per hour (120 kph).
Widespread threats from Hurricane Irma prompted Georgia's governor to declare an emergency Sunday for the entire state, where coastal Savannah was evacuated for the second time in less than a year and Atlanta faced its first-ever tropical storm warning.