At-A-Glance: Irma spreads flooding, misery in Southeast

At-A-Glance: Irma spreads flooding, misery in Southeast

At-A-Glance: Irma spreads flooding, misery in Southeast

Power outages from Hurricane Irma in Florida and nearby states declined to about 6.9 million customers on Tuesday from a peak over 7.4 million late Monday as utilities organised one of the biggest restoration efforts in USA history.

This makes it the most sustained category 5 storm and the second most sustained major hurricane in the satellite era (starting in 1966), trailing behind Ivan in 2004.

At least 10 deaths in the U.S. Southeast are now blamed on Irma, including people hit by falling trees or tree limbs. The storm is expected to further weaken as it continues to move inland. The storm's eye will move through southern Georgia by Monday afternoon. Hurricane-force winds extend out 70 miles from the center of the storm and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 195 miles.

- Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina will also feel effects of the storm. The only good news here is that the warning has been downgraded from a hurricane to a storm for some places.

The US National Weather Service said that Hurricane Irma is the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic. Three-quarters of the city remained without power and several people had been arrested for looting. But for the most part, the damage was not almost as bad as expected.

"It took a week for Matthew", Jensen said, referring to a hurricane that a year ago did not make landfall in Florida but caused power outages.

He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned". "We've never seen this before", Scott said.

Around 3.5 million Florida residents have been left without power, according to data from the Florida Power & Light Company. While Sarasota County has only ordered mandatory evacuations for zone A, largely encompassing mobile home parks, the barrier islands and low-lying areas on the mainland, they may opt for a voluntary evacuation for those in zone B at a noon press conference Saturday. "I tell you, whether it's what we're doing here in Tallahassee, our first responders, the federal government, we're going to make sure every person in the state is taken care of to the extent we can", Scott said.

One building that did withstand the storm is Ernest Hemingway's former home in Key West, now a museum.

"Swells generated by Jose will affect portions of Hispaniola, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands over the next couple of days", the National Hurricane Centre said.

In Alabama, some city school districts including Birmingham, Huntsville and Auburn planned to close Monday and in some cases Tuesday.

Irma hit southwest Florida on Sunday morning as a unsafe Category 4 storm, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Before slamming into to the United States, Irma hit Cuba late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane.

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