Hurricane Irma: Storm hits west coast of Florida

House Damage

House Damage

As Hurricane Irma makes its way north across Florida, officials warn that storm surge is likely in certain areas. Bridges leaves behind an 8-year-old son.

- Storm surge warnings in Florida, Georgia and SC mean "there is a danger of life-threatening inundation", the hurricane center said. About 155,000 people had taken refuge in 573 shelters across the state. Most of the outages are in Savannah, Ga., and the surrounding areas.

Doppler radar data indicate that maximum sustained winds have decreased to near 100 miles per hour (155 km/h) with higher gusts.

Its bands stretched widely over the Sunshine State - including over Miami, which beared much of the brunt of Irma's winds and storm surge.

As of 6 a.m., over 5.7 million customers were without power in Florida - that's roughly 58 per cent of all customers in the state.

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.

"It's development in the future versus tropical storms or hurricanes", Regalado said.

"The unfortunate loss of 10 human lives has been reported so far", in several parts of the island, including Havana, the agency said in a statement.

A flooded street is seen in the Brickell area of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes through Miami.

Before hammering Cuba, the hurricane raged through the Caribbean and seriously damaged Puerto Rico as well as islands controlled by the United Kingdom, the Netherlands and France.

"We don't have a comprehensive insight into what the damage is", Bryan Koon, Florida director of Emergency Management said late Sunday. "I don't have any numbers on fatalities at this point".

FPL has a workforce of 19,500, and they're bringing in more crews from out of state. The beachfront community and neighboring cities ordered residents to evacuate. "In fact, stupid is the reason most of us have jobs", the statement says. There were no immediate reports of deaths in Florida.

Florida Governor Rick Scott expressed his condolences to the families of the deceased. Authorities said it could take up to six months to rebuild the island's power grid. A decision has not been made about how long those sites will accept people seeking shelter.

Two tornadoes touched down in Brevard County, on the Atlantic Coast; Miami's major airport sustained damage and remained closed; and storm surges and additional flooding were expected on the Gulf Coast. But officials say it is the water and not the winds that people should fear most.

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