Hurricane Jose downgraded to Category 3, expected to weaken

Image The Tampa skyline is seen in the background as local resident plays with his dogs in Hillsborough Bay ahead of Hurricane Irma in Tampa

The storm's center is forecast to move near the Florida Peninsula's northwestern coast and cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia Monday afternoon.

Over the next two days, Irma is expected to push to the northwest, into Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee.

"The important thing is that we're fine", he said, acknowledging his family members in SC who were also impacted by Irma.

Almost the entire Florida coastline remained under hurricane watches and warnings, and leery residents watched a projected track that could still shift to spare, or savage, parts of the state. The surge could go as high as 10 feet throughout the Keys.

For days, the forecast had made it look as if the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people on Florida's Atlantic coast could get hit head-on by the long-dreaded Big One. But officials urged patience.

Thankfully, Freeman said he and his family were all safe after the storm passed, but "it is still hard".

"We're trying to encourage people to stay off the roads. We've got debris all over the state".

He said the island was "literally under water" and "barely habitable".

- As of Monday night, the tropical depression was centered about 95 miles south of Atlanta, with maximum sustained winds of 35 mph, the National Hurricane Center said.

At least 27 have been reported dead across the Caribbean, and at least four deaths have been reported in Florida.

Jose appears to have spared, for the most part, the Caribbean islands hardest hit by Irma last week, but it still has maximum sustained winds of 105 miles per hour with even stronger gusts. One woman was killed when a downed tree struck her vehicle in Cumming as the auto at in a private driveway, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

Florida State's next game is scheduled for September 23 at home against North Carolina State.


- Massive power outages remain throughout the Southeast.

- In South Carolina, almost 200,000 customers were without power, according to utility companies.

Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

Almost 4,000,000 people were without power throughout the state and the administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), William Long, informed that some places will be without electricity for weeks.

As of Monday morning, 6.2 million customers were without power in Florida, according to the state's Department of Emergency Management. Irma pales in comparison compared to the utter devastation left behind by those two storms in the United States.

Irma triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people before it made two landfalls in the Florida Sunday.

The Keys are linked by 42 bridges that have to be checked for safety before motorists can be allowed in, officials said. Capsized power lines, surging waters, fallen trees and blocked roadways greeted them.

Authorities are still assessing the damage to the Keys, Florida Governor Rick Scott said.

Search crews planned to go door-to-door in the hard-hit Keys to check on residents.

- In Venice, the water plant was shut down after it was damaged by the storm.

Downgraded to a tropical storm early on Monday, Irma had ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record before barreling into the Florida Keys on Sunday and plowing northward along the Gulf Coast and moving inland to wreak havoc across a wide swath of the third-most populous USA state.

This wide continental shelf means Tampa would get twice as much storm surge - the leading killer in a major hurricane - as Miami on the east coast.

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