25% of Florida Keys buildings destroyed, FEMA says

25% of Florida Keys buildings destroyed, FEMA says

25% of Florida Keys buildings destroyed, FEMA says

After tearing through the Caribbean, Irma, the formerly powerful Category 5 hurricane, is now losing strength.

There were no immediate confirmed reports of any deaths from the storm.

Residents are slowly being allowed to return to some islands in the hurricane-slammed Florida Keys as officials try to piece together the scope of Irma's destruction and rush aid into the drenched and debris-strewn state.

AccuWeather extreme meteorologist Reed Timmer captured Irma's wrath as the storm hit Key West, Florida, and what it looked like after the hurricane.

Florida Power & Light, the state's major electricity provider, says it has almost 20,000 workers deployed around the state.

"Don't think just because this thing passed, you can run home", said Florida Gov. Rick Scott in a briefing.

A total of 6.3 million people in Florida were ordered to evacuate - about a third of the state's population.

A monster Hurricane Irma roared into Florida with 130 miles per hour winds Sunday for what was a sustained assault on almost the entire Sunshine State, submerging streets, knocking out power to millions and snapping massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline.

Late Sunday, as the storm moved up Florida's west coast, officials said 28,000 people had taken refuge in 45 county shelters in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa.

Inc. All rig
Inc. All rig

Forecasters say they expert Irma's center to stay inland over Florida and then move into Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee. Ten people were killed on the French island of Saint Barthélémy - known colloquially as St Barts - and on the French part of Saint Martin which it shares with the Netherlands. The region has not been hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Storm surge flooding in downtown Jacksonville exceeded a record set during a 1964 hurricane by at least 1 foot, according to the National Weather Service.

Currently, more than 3 million customers are without power across Florida, according to utility companies.

Irma's hurricane-force winds can be felt up to 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm winds extend up to 220 miles.

The 640-kilometre-wide storm is big enough to cover the entire south west land division of WA, stretching from Shark Bay in the north and out to Kalgoorlie.

As of Monday the storm had weakened to a depression, with wind speeds of 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), but it continued to threaten northern parts of the state with flooding.

In Miami-Dade, Irma's fierce winds bent a construction crane in half, tore a roof off a gas station and left streets throughout the county littered with felled trees and palm fronds.

"It's awful, what we saw", Scott said.

"I will tell you in no uncertain terms - and I am not going to sugarcoat it - this is going to be a hard storm", Buckhorn said at the news conference. This is a week after jumping more than 15 cents in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey. "Stay safe, be prepared, listen to local evacuation advisories". But by Sunday, just before the season's halfway point, there had already been 11 named storms and six hurricanes.

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