Health Care

Hurricane Irma continues to batter Florida coast despite weakening overnight

Hurricane Irma continues to batter Florida coast despite weakening overnight”

Editor's note: This is a developing story that is being constantly updated as the storm progresses.

"The center of Irma will continue to move over the western Florida peninsula through Monday morning and then into the southeastern United States late Monday and Tuesday", the National Hurricane Center said.

- Floridians awoke Monday no longer with a hurricane overhead, but more than 6.2 million homes and businesses did not have power and flooding concerns continued almost statewide. Emergency crews made rescues throughout the night.

The core of the storm is expected to miss South Florida's populated southeast coast but residents will still experience life-threatening hurricane conditions.

Even though the company has deployed roughly 20,000 workers to help speed up restoration efforts, Silagy says that it will take days, if not weeks, for many residents to get back online. It was moving north at 9 miles per hour, with maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour.

Rescue mode: Mayor Lenny Curry said his city is in "rescue mode", with teams working to evacuate people from low-lying areas impacted by the flooding.

Irma, after making landfall Sunday in the Florida Keys and Southwest Florida as a major storm, was downgraded to a tropical storm, with 70 miles per hour winds as it went up the Gulf Coast into North Florida. It was smacking Naples after coming ashore in Marco Island at 3:35 p.m.

St. Martin and St. Bart remained under tropical storm warnings as of Saturday evening.

People have asked what can we do, the first thing I tell them is pray, pray for everybody in Florida. Irma has pushed into Georgia, the Carolinas, Kentucky, and Tennessee as a post-tropical cyclone, still carrying heavy rains but with somewhat lower wind gusts. That risk extended to the coast of Georgia and parts of SC, the hurricane centre said.

More than a million customers are without electricity across the state.

- Strong winds blowing from the northeast have pushed water out of shallow parts of bays and harbors in cities like Tampa and Port Charlotte. In a sign of the sheer size of Irma, hurricane warnings extend northward into South Central Georgia and tropical storm warnings reach nearly to the Georgia/Tennessee state line.

Civil Defence official Gregorio Torres said authorities were trying to tally the extent of the damage in eastern Cuba, home to hundreds of rural communities and farmland. No injuries have been reported.

High winds snapped power lines and left about 5.8 million Florida homes and businesses without power, state data showed. All causeways leading to Miami Beach were closed by police.

"No matter where you went everything was a standstill, and I wasn't going to take my family out and sit them on a highway", Witt said.

- Disney World was forced to close, for only the sixth time in its 45-year history.

Hurricane Irma weakened as it pummeled Florida - but the storm still packed a powerful punch, spawning torrential downpours, tornadoes and flash floods.

"If you're in an evacuation zone, you should be very cautious, you should get out now", Governor Rick Scott told CNN.

"It's bad now", Angie Enyedi, National Weather Service meteorologist, said Monday.



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