FEMA: 25 percent of homes in Florida Keys destroyed by Irma

Downed trees were a common sight through much of central Florida

Portions of the Florida Keys ravaged by Hurricane Irma will allow residents to return to survey damage from the monster storm, whose USA death toll rose to 11 on Tuesday. "This is why we ask people to leave".

Most of Florida remained without power yesterday as it emerged that 420,000 British people were in the state when Hurricane Irma struck.

Mayor Lenny Curry said Irma hit the city with a storm surge like a Category 3 hurricane, even though its winds were at tropical-storm level when it reached northeast Florida.

Chase said projected rainfall for DeKalb County is around three inches or more. A turn toward the southeast was expected for Tuesday night and Wednesday.

Irma, which decimated the Caribbean as a top-tier Category 5 hurricane before losing strength after repeated landfalls in the continental USA, was downgraded to a tropical storm Monday. It is the lack of electricity in Florida which has left millions of residents in a crippled state. Many places including Miami Beach were just beginning to reopen, and highways leading into the state from Georgia had bumper-to-bumper traffic. "We are trying to do everything that we can to get people safe", he said. He said no serious damage had been discovered, but that engineers were being cautious in determining how much weight the spans could carry.

The county has about 53,000 housing units, census figures show. The archipelago of hundreds of islands, curving south from the southern tip of the mainland, is still partly inaccessible; a quarter of all buildings were destroyed, and 65 percent sustained major damage.

In a press conference Tuesday, officials say the state has placed 20 service patrol operators along I-75 from South Atlanta metro to Florida. A few keep the storm in the Atlantic, far from the United States. Rick Scott's office reported Monday that 5.8 million people were without electrical power. Most of the outages are in Savannah, Ga., and the surrounding areas.

"I've had a lot of calls from nursing homes", Mr. Scott said Tuesday.

FPL said it has an army of 19,500 workers, including crews from other utilities outside the state, working to get power back to its customers in 35 counties, literally every county it operates in.

In Georgia, more than 1 million customers - which includes households and businesses - were in the dark, according to Georgia Power and Georgia EMC.

"This is going to take some time to restore and, in some circumstances, it will be a situation about rebuilding", Krebs said.



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