Irma weakens to tropical storm in Florida: forecasters

Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma hits on Sept. 10 in Miami Beach Fla
Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma hits on Sept. 10 in Miami Beach Fla
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13 September, 2017

Irma battered the Florida Keys and wreaked havoc the length of the Florida peninsula. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 60 miles (95 km) mainly to the west of the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 415 miles (665 km). It was expected to cross into Georgia in the afternoon, leaving potentially risky storm surges in its wake.

Floridians will be happy to say goodbye to the unprecedented storm - which set a record for longevity as a Category 5 hurricane and plowed into the Florida Keys and the state's mainland as a Category 4 storm. All around the region, more than 7 million homes and businesses lost power at one point from Irma's passage, the brunt of the outages occurring in Florida. More than 100,000 were in the dark in Georgia.

Emergency workers in Daytona Beach rescued 25 people with a high-water truck after they were suddenly caught in an onslaught of wind and rain.

The monster storm, which arrived in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, has toppled at least three constructions cranes - two over downtown Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St.

The storm is expected to make a turn toward the northeast later Monday, followed by a more easterly motion on Tuesday.

Massive cleanup: Mayor Bill Barnett says trees are down and streets are flooded, even though the storm surge wasn't as bad as officials feared. The governor said the route also needs to be cleared of debris and sand, but should be usable fairly quickly. We are patrolling and we will not tolerate criminal activities while our community recovers from Hurricane Irma, ' the body said on social networks. "The surge is yet to be finished".

Irma devastated the Caribbean, leaving entire islands uninhabitable and causing at least two dozen deaths before churning over Cuba and moving up to the continental U.S.

How many people were evacuated?

In the low-lying Keys, appliances and furniture were seen floating away.

Authorities plan to fly over the Keys on Monday, officials said.

Damaging winds could impact areas from Alabama to Tennessee in addition to the Carolinas and Georgia, the Weather Channel reported.

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.

The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will cross Monday into Georgia, where Atlanta has been put on a tropical storm warning for the first time in history.

A flash flood warning is in effect along the southern coast of SC, where more than 40,000 were ordered to evacuate barrier islands.

Hilton Head Island said on Twitter that it suspended emergency operations at 9 a.m. Monday until the winds and storm surge subside.


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