Powerful winds from Hurricane Irma rip the roof off a Miami house

Irma Strengthens To Category 4, Shifts West Taking Aim At St. Petersberg

Hurricane Irma roars into Florida Keys, brings deadly storm surge

Hurricane Irma swept along the coast of Cuba on Saturday before turning north to make landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday.

Broward County, though, should continue to see sustained tropical storm force winds and hurricane gusts for several more hours.

Storm surges were beginning to impact Key West just before 4 a.m. ET Sunday, with water levels already two feet above normal.

"It's devastating", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said after emerging from a Monday fly-over of the Keys.

In Miami-Dade County, where roads flooded and debris flew, around three-quarters of residents (820,000 out of 1.1 million) are without power as of Monday.

As of 2 p.m., the center of Hurricane Irma was near Naples, with sustained winds of up to 120 miles per hour, making it a Category 3 hurricane.

The Keys could get between 10 and 20 inches of rain, and the Florida peninsula could get 8 to 15 inches.

"We haven't made a determination yet when we feel it will be safe to come back to Miami Beach".

Some 6.5 million people, about a third of the state's population, had been ordered to evacuate southern Florida.

St. Lucie is located on a barrier island on the state's east coast, about 120 miles (193 km) north of Miami, while Turkey Point is about 30 miles south of Miami. However, he called Irma "Andrew for a whole state".

"In the street right now, the water is knee-to-waist deep", he said. "We feel it was more unsafe to travel all over the state, run out of fuel possibly".

The crews that are coming will help respond to Georgia Power's 2.5 million customers first, and "then we can deploy to other states if needed", Stone said.

"It definitely went a step above even that particular one", he said. And the governor said damage on the southwest coast, including in Naples and Fort Myers, was not as bad as feared. "Right now, we're just urging everybody to stay indoors, to seek shelter". Mobile home residents and Florida evacuees camping in RVs were urged to head to one of seven storm shelters in the area. Both storm surge and inland flooding, which cause the majority of deaths in tropical cyclones, remain a risk over the Southeast states.

- Strong winds blowing from the northeast pushed water out of shallow parts of bays and harbors in cities like Tampa and Port Charlotte.

Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

The Indonesian Consulate in Houston, Texas, which oversees services for Indonesian citizens, including those living in parts of Florida, has told Indonesians to follow local authorities' advice. The downgraded storm has killed at least one person in Georgia on Monday, the Associated Press reports.

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