Storm Surge Swallows Jacksonville With Record Floods

A man paddles a kayak near a flooded home along the Alafia River Tuesday Sept. 12 2017 in Lithia Fla. A storm surge from Hurricane Irma pushed water into the low lying area. (AP

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That principle was on display during Hurricane Irma's arrival this past weekend, as the powerful Cat. The winds from the northeast would shift to out of the southwest, potentially sending all that water, and then some, back into the bay. The previous record was held by Typhoon Haiyan, also called Super Typhoon Yolanda, which hit the Philippines in 2013.

Mark Skoneki of The Orlando Sentinel noted, however, that because Jose's "cone of uncertainty" looks more like a circle at this point, the storm could go in any direction as it continues its swirl over the Atlantic.

Weaker but still massive, Hurricane Irma as a Category 1 storm is still lashing Florida's west coast as it churns northwest Monday morning.

After the storm formed, it intensified quickly.

Irma was ranked a category five, the rare top end of the scale of hurricane intensity, for days, and carried maximum sustained winds of up to 295km/h when it crashed into the island of Barbuda on Wednesday. Tallahassee resident William Pittman has been through Florida hurricanes before, so he wasn't surprised to wake up Monday morning with no power in his house. On Sept. 5, they were 185 miles per hour, with gusts of 213 miles per hour.

Jose Encarnacion pulls a chicken out from a cage as he retrieves belongings from his flooded home following Hurricane Irma in Bonita Springs Fla. Tuesday Sept. 12 2017
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Her building manager told her there was flooding at her unit, but further updates were hard to come by because power and cellphone service has been down on the island.

At least 10 deaths in the U.S. Southeast are now blamed on Irma, including people hit by falling trees or tree limbs. More than 3.4 million homes in the state are without power, with parts of the city of Miami are under water. Meanwhile, heavy equipment crews have begun clearing away road and other debris in Florida as cleanup crews fan out with chain saws to remove downed trees and begin taking stock of the extent of the damage. For many, that will be the first step to moving past Irma. "No cell service in at least the lower and middle Keys", said Bill South of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. By one metric, this single storm packed an entire season's worth of destructive power.

Irma caused widespread destruction in the Caribbean before it made landfall in Florida, according to AP.

In South Carolina, a storm surge warning continued to be in place from the South Santee River, south to the Georgia border, the Hurricane Center said.

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