South Florida starts to feel effects of Hurricane Irma

The Latest: Gov Scott: State dealing with fuel, traffic jams

The Latest: Gov Scott: State dealing with fuel, traffic jams

"A few tornadoes are possible across northeast Florida and southeast portions of Georgia and SC through tonight", the hurricane center said.

With sustained winds of 65 mph and centered about 70 miles east of Tallahassee, Irma is carrying its fierce winds and battering rain over southern Georgia.

Irma, which first made landfall on Wednesday, has now weakened to a Tropical Depression. The whole of the southern tip of Florida has seen high winds, driving rain and storm surges.

Irma comes just days after Hurricane Harvey dumped record-breaking rain in Texas, killing at least 60 people and causing unprecedented flooding and an estimated US$180 billion in property damage. "We've already surpassed historic levels, the levels will continue to rise". "We do have backup generation", FPL spokesman Rob Gould said yesterday.

The most populous counties in the state – Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach – would get spared of the worst effects of Irma if these predictions hold true.

More than 200,000 had electricity restored, mostly by automated devices.

Chief Meteorologist Paul Dellegatto said the long awaited turn to the northwest should occur later on Saturday.

FPL has warned customers to prepare for outages that could last weeks if Irma requires the utility to rebuild parts of its service territory.

Florida outages for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, increased to nearly 1.2 million, according to the company's website.

A tornado spun off by Irma was reported on the Georgia coast, and firefighters inland had to rescue several people after trees fell on their homes.

Charlotte is expected to feel the storm's impact Monday and Tuesday, with gusty winds and heavy rain expected.

About 17,000 were assisting FPL, almost 8,000 at Duke and more than 1,300 at Emera. High wind warning may be issued for Cleveland County Monday night, Panovich reports. Though Irma had struck the opposite corner of the state, he expected it would bring strong winds to his home on Monday.

Forecasters are predicting Tampa Bay as the new striking point for the storm instead of Miami.

The centre of the system - America's second major hurricane in a week - lost strength and was downgraded to a tropical storm yesterday.

The plant, on Irma's current forecast track, stopped operating in 2009 and was retired in 2013. "Of course, our smart meter network, which allows us to have greater intel and greater insights into what is happening on the other end of a meter or in a business", says FPL Vice President Robert Gould.

As the storm has come ashore, gasoline stations have struggled to keep up.

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