13 September, 2017
As the hurricane moves north and the wind directions change, the water will start to rush back in and storm surge flooding will occur.
The hurricane knocked out power to almost 4 million homes and businesses in Florida, threatening millions more as it crept up the state's west coast, and full restoration of service could take weeks, local electric utilities said.
Irma continues to sustain 50 miles per hour winds and stronger gusts, but is expected to be downgraded to a tropical depression as it moves into Alabama on Tuesday. Since the forecast winds are expected to be below tropical storm force, have cancelled the tropical storm warnings and replaced with a wind advisory in effect from 3 PM this afternoon through early Tuesday morning.
Around 5.7 million homes and businesses in the state are without power, and more than 120 homes near Orlando have had to be evacuated from rising floodwaters.
"The bad news is that this is some big monster, but I think we're really well coordinated", he said.
Irma was a Category 4 hurricane raging in the lower Florida Keys as of 9 a.m. EDT (1300 GMT), on a path that will take it up Florida's Gulf of Mexico coast near population centers including Tampa and St. Petersburg, the NHC reported.
It headed out to sea causing little additional damage, and was recently downgraded from a category four hurricane. Late Monday and Tuesday, west winds can create a water level rise of 2 to 4 feet.
Irma struck Cudjoe during a high tide.
The two US agencies have also had their eye on the not-so-far behind Category 4 Hurricane Jose and nearby Category 1 Hurricane Katia, now a tropical depression, in the Gulf of Mexico.
Ramirez planned to work from home Monday, staying with her 10-year-old son whose school, like many others, in metro Atlanta from K-12 were closed. "They will not be turned away if you knock on the door. Because it is just too risky to be out on the road at this time".
So far, Hurricane Irma has left 26 dead since it first made landfall on September 6 in the Caribbean islands.
Irma, which killed at least 22 people as it tore through Caribbean islands toward Florida, has already claimed at least one life in the state.