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The first aerial images have come in of the extensive damage left by Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys, where county administrators said an "astounding recovery effort" that will soon involve an aircraft carrier is beginning Monday.
It caused $15 billion in damage and was blamed for as many as 35 deaths in the U.S.
Authorities said one man died in a storm-related auto accident in Florida, another when a tree fell on a suburban Atlanta house, a third hit by a falling tree limb in SC and a fourth in southwest Georgia after climbing a ladder up a shed in gusty winds, where he was found lodged between two beams with debris atop him.
The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office warned residents along the St. Johns River to "Get out NOW".
St. Martin and St. Bart remained under tropical storm warnings as of Saturday evening. The rain will taper off, the wind will lighten up. The city's Memorial Park has turned into an unrecognizable lake.
"It's a rare event", said Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry, who guided his city through Hurricane Matthew last October, "of a magnitude that we have not seen in almost 150 years".
Hurricane Irma is expected to travel north early this week, with Georgia and SC in the path of impact.
"We're definitely shaken up". "If it would have fallen toward our direction, it would have been a. mess".
At least nine deaths have been tied to the storm in the United States, including that of a 62-year-old rural Georgia man who died Monday while using a ladder to climb on his shed amid 40 miles per hour winds.
At the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center, the mayor told evacuated residents to stay evacuated.
As Irma began moving into Georgia, a tornado spun off by the storm was reported on the coast, and firefighters inland had to rescue several people after trees fell on their homes.
"No way!" Indigo interrupted. 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.
"They normally don't unless it is going to be a Category 3 or higher", he said.
Commissioner for Humanitarian Aid and Crisis Management, Christos Stylianides, announced today an amount of humanitarian assistance of € 2 million for the most affected islands.
- Storm surge warnings in Florida, Georgia and SC mean "there is a danger of life-threatening inundation", the hurricane center said.More news: Hurricane Irma forecast improves for Columbia area, but threats still possible
Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West.
That's because some islands are extremely hard to access.
"This will no doubt be one of the most complex, not just in our company's history but in the history of this country, in terms of restoration", Gould said.
"We're hoping to be able to ride it out here", Tom Lozen said.
On top of that, "there is now no cell service, no electricity and no water" in most of the Keys, said Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers.
"We've got the grill", Mauney said from a rocking chair on his front porch. Irma will slowly track towards north Alabama, a destination it will reach Tuesday. But that doesn't mean all Floridians should try to go back home.
"We don't anticipate this will be a highly localized event", Hawkins said.
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.
Jones told reporters Sunday he believes more people evacuated Savannah and nearby communities for Irma than left ahead of Matthew previous year. But in the Keys, he said, "there is devastation".
"I've been here with other storms, other hurricanes".
Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal already declared a state of emergency for all 159 counties as Irma barreled toward the state.
In a statement released Friday, the City of Atlanta said they are prepared to open temporary shelters for evacuees in coordination with the American Red Cross and other organizations. So was a portion of coastal SC from the Georgia line to Edisto Beach, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Charleston.
Homes destroyed: About a dozen homes were hit by trees and destroyed in Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, according to an initial assessment by county officials.
At 11 a.m. Saturday, NHCs rainfall forecast shows possible rain amounts from Irma over the next five days.
A week earlier Hurricane Harvey flooded a wide swath of Houston.