Hurricane Irma lashes at Florida on all sides

Hurricane Irma lashes at Florida on all sides

Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

Recovery operations are ramping up around Florida and beyond, even as the weakened vestiges of Irma dump rains across the South in such states as Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. "It's going to take some time to let people back into their homes particularly in the Florida Keys", said Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

Everybody FPL has available is "already being deployed" and the company is trying to secure more workers from out of state to help, Silagy said, including some crews who were assisting in Texas after Hurricane Harvey.

The storm engulfed almost the entire Florida peninsula, wreaking havoc from the state's southernmost point up to the Georgia line, from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf side. The most extensive damage was likely in the Naples area, but a full assessment was ongoing.

The storm hit Marco Island at 15:35 local time (19:35 GMT).It is now losing strength, but is expected to remain a hurricane at least until Monday morning, the NHC said.

Sustained winds of more than 200km/h were reported when the storm first made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday, but by Monday had dropped to around 130km/h.

Six deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, along with three in Georgia and one in SC.

Video footage from Miami shows a frightening scene, with howling winds tearing through the city's streets and whipping the rising flood waters into a frothy river.

"Let's just say a prayer we hope we make it through". The forecasters predict that this storm will be the worst in the United States history.

Chopper Images Show Flooding in Key Largo After Irma
Chopper Images Show Flooding in Key Largo After Irma

Tropical Storm Irma brought wind gusts of up to 72 mph on Folly Beach and Charleston's third-highest-recorded storm surge as the center of the storm moved some 250 miles away through Florida and Georgia.

Powerful winds from Hurricane Irma whipped through southwest Florida on Sunday, downing power lines and leaving a trail of debris behind.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the storm left "devastation" on the Keys, which were under mandatory evacuation orders during Irma.

Irma was expected to reach the heavily populated Tampa-St.

- At least 26 deaths have been blamed on Irma in the Caribbean islands, where it hit before barreling toward Florida.

The Lower Keys - including the chain's most distant and most populous island, Key West, with 27,000 people - were still off-limits, with a roadblock in place where the single highway to the farther islands was washed out. Petersburg area, once thought to be relatively safe from harm, suddenly found itself in the storm's crosshairs.

Irma once was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 miles per hour.

The city appeared to avoid a direct hit from the hurricane, which has claimed three lives in the U.S. so far, but heavy rain and flooding is still a major threat. For days, forecasters warned Irma was taking dead aim at Florida.

Southwest Airlines canceled hundreds of flights to and from Atlanta
Delta even announced on their page that they already put a $399 cap on all their flights from southern Florida until September 13. Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) - Airport open, but check with your airline for information about flight status.