Irma knocks out power to about 600000 customers in Florida

Stephen Morrill gets his house ready for Hurricane Irma

Stephen Morrill gets his house ready for Hurricane Irma

The city's Memorial Park has turned into an unrecognizable lake. "It is time to take this storm seriously. It has just begun, and it's going to get worse".

As Irma weakened into a tropical storm and finally left Florida on Monday after a run up the entire 400-mile length of the state, the full scale of its destruction was still unknown, in part because of cutoff communications and blocked roads.

No one was hurt.

In the dark: Most of the city (72%) is without power, the mayor said.

A vehicle sits abandoned in storm surge along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard in Fort Lauderdale.

Irma's center was about 105 miles (170 km) north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm. The damage from the storm damaged not just people's homes and businesses, but also knocked out communication services to rescue crews. The island suffered "absolute devastation", with 30 percent of properties demolished and 99 percent of buildings damaged. Rest of eastern Georgia, western SC, and western North Carolina.4 to 8 inches.

With weather deteriorating in South Florida, major hurricane-force winds are expected to be over the Florida Keys at daybreak Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.

- More than 17,000 customers have already lost power in Savannah, Georgia. Streets flooded, and flying objects such as coconuts turned into unsafe projectiles. The enormous storm weakened slightly to Category 4 Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kph), but it was expected to pick up strength again as it takes aim at Florida.

That's because some islands are extremely hard to access. The first United States soil at risk of the storm's full force will be the Florida Keys.

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.

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"At this time, it is not expected that the St. Lucie Nuclear Power Plant will shut down as a result of Irma, though we will closely monitor the changing weather conditions", FPL said.

Much of eastern Alabama and coastal SC also were under tropical storm warnings as Irma pummeled Florida, weakening on its march northward. But that doesn't mean all Floridians should try to go back home.

"If you own a power washer. imagine taking it in the face", said CNN's Bill Weir of the torrential rain in Key Largo, some 70 miles south of Miami.

As of midnight Sunday, 3.98 million of FPL's 4.90 million customers were affected by outages.

More than 6.5 million people have been told to evacuate.

In addition, a Storm Surge watch is up for Wakulla, Jefferson, and Taylor county coastlines.

But the prospect of a direct hit from Irma represents another blow to air travel in one of the busiest air corridors in the world for business and leisure travel.

BOTTOM LINE: What About South Carolina?

With the exception of emergency personnel, the state government will be closed Monday and Tuesday. While Hurricane Irma, of Category 5, lashed out at the state, the police helped the evacuated woman, taking her to the Baptist Hospital in Kendall. It killed 38 people, including 10 in Cuba, which was battered over the weekend by ferocious winds and 36-foot waves. Flooding was reported along Interstate 4, which cuts across Florida's midsection. It caused $15 billion in damage and was blamed for as many as 35 deaths in the U.S.

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