Hurricane Irma climbs Florida coast, unsafe storm surges feared

Irma's Storm Surge Swallows Jacksonville With Record Floods

Strong winds and choppy sea are seen in Key Largo, Florida, Hurricane Irma approaches, in this September 9, 2017 still image taken from social media video.

On top of that, "there's no electricity throughout the Keys".

Florida Power & Light, the state's largest electric utility, said there were almost 1 million customers without power in Miami-Dade County alone.

"This is going to be a very, very lengthy restoration, arguably the most lengthy restoration and most complex in USA history", he said, asking that customers be patient.

A storm surge watch is north of the Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County Line to the Isle of Palms, South Carolina - in addition to north of the Suwanee River to Ochlockonee River.

- More than 17,000 customers have already lost power in Savannah, Georgia.

The storm did some $20 billion to $40 billion in damage to insured property as it tore through Florida, catastrophe modeling firm AIR Worldwide estimated. But that doesn't mean all Floridians should try to go back home. "All over the country, we're asking you to be prepared".

Meteorologist Simon Brewer posted a video on Sunday morning of what happened after his fellow meteorologist Justin Drake got out of his vehicle and came face-to-face with Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida.

"I'm anxious about my school", said Sabrina, an evacuee.

Set to turn into a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon, Irma is expected to continue losing force as it moves further inland and approaches the Great Smoky Mountains beyond Atlanta.

"We have dodged a bullet with the storm's track", Dan Summers, the director of emergency services for Collier County said Sunday evening.

That risk extended to the coast of Georgia and parts of SC. Schools in the state planned to close Monday.

Irma was churning toward the heavily populated Tampa Bay region, a zone seen as particularly susceptible to storm surges due to its geographical position and sloping land off the coast.

Last month, Hurricane Harvey devastated much of coastal Texas and killed more than 70 people.



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