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Hurricane Irma's massive flooding and destruction in 25 photos

Hurricane Irma's massive flooding and destruction in 25 photos”

() - When it comes to hurricanes, Florida may as well have a target on its back. "But I thought we would see more damage". Crews worked to clear the single highway that connects the island chain with the mainland, inspecting dozens of bridges.

The storm is still producing some wind gusts near hurricane force and a few tornadoes are possible in southeast Georgia.

An estimated 170,000 people were lodged in some 650 emergency shelters as of early evening, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Hurricane Irma weakened to a tropical storm on Monday while plowing through Florida, but it remained powerful enough to bring devastating flooding to this city in the state's northeast corner.

The figure represents nearly 60% of the state's electricity users, who were still experiencing power outage as of 9 p.m. EDT Monday, according to the state's Division of Emergency Management.

Georgia reported more than 570,000 homes and businesses without electricity, and there were 80,000 in SC. At least 36 people were left dead in the storm's wake across the Caribbean.

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.

Weather officials warn that Irma is expected to keep producing high winds and heavy rain, although it has weakened. Most of the state of Florida is without power.

Before dawn on Monday, Florida National Guard troops and local firefighters rescued almost 150 people from dozens of flooded homes in western Orlando and ferried them in large trucks and rescue launches to a shelter on higher ground.

On Sunday, Irma claimed its first U.S. fatality - a man found dead in a pickup truck that had crashed into a tree in high winds in the town of Marathon, in the Florida Keys.

Severe flooding was reported in many other cities and towns along Florida's Gulf of Mexico coastline.

Hurricane Irma officially made US landfall at 9:10 a.m.at Cudjoe Key. And the governor said damage on the southwest coast, including in Naples and Fort Myers, was not as bad as feared. Its helicopters were flying over the Keys to assess the condition of airports, officials said. "It's frightful what we saw".

"I know for our entire state, but especially the Keys, it's going to be a long road". "We have no cell service, no electricity, and no water", Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers said.

Looters, she joked, could help themselves to anything they wanted.

However, the widespread water outages and low water pressure throughout the Keys appear to be a result of problems with smaller distribution systems, the authority said, explaining it had issued a precautionary boil-water notice.

Garcia said, "She delivered the placenta, also".

Storm surge: Large portions of Marco Island were flooded by a 3- to 4-foot storm surge, said Chris Bowden, spokesman for the Marco Island Fire Department. "A t-shirt, anything white", the office said on its Facebook page.

Meanwhile, all 7,935 members of the Florida Army and Air National Guard have been deployed, conducting search and rescue, law-enforcement support and humanitarian assistance. Schools in the state planned to close Monday.

- More than 1.4 million customers in Georgia were without power, according to Georgia Power and Georgia EMC.

"I am sure there are still people that are still there, thinking that they can hunker down on this storm", Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told a press briefing Sunday, before paraphrasing a famous boxer's words.

The Keys were largely evacuated before the storm struck with winds of up to 130 miles per hour (209 kph), and police established a checkpoint on Monday to keep displaced residents from returning while authorities work to restore power, water, fuel supplies and medical service.

Irma's sheer size and power had many asking, "what allowed it to get so strong?"



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