Tropical Storm Irma Gradually Weakening Over Northern Florida

Credit UPPCO

Credit UPPCO

Irma is forecast to dump up to 20 inches (50 cm) of rain over Florida and southeast Georgia through Monday, less than the 50 inches Hurricane Harvey dropped on parts of Texas and Louisiana two weeks ago, killing at least 60 people and causing an estimated $180 billion in property damage.

The risk of storm surge flooding extends northward to the coasts of Georgia and SC today, too.

Irma weakened from a maximum-strength Category Five to a Category Three storm, though it was still packing winds of 125 miles (200 kilometer) per hour. Its eye finally spun out of Florida on Monday and was moving inland, first over south Georgia as the storm system gradually weakened.

Irma roared through the Florida Keys overnight with punishing 209 km/h winds and began pushing its way north.

Winter Park police spokesman Garvin McComie says officers responded Monday morning following reports of a man lying in the roadway.

It still raked much of the state with devastating storm surge, winds and rain.

According to FEMA, approximately 25 percent of houses in the Keys were destroyed, and another 65 percent suffered major damage.

Florida outages for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, held at around 1.2 million, according to the company's website, and Duke's outages in North and SC eased below a peak of 160,000.

- 5.8 million customers are without power across Florida, state emergency officials said.

"We're asking folks to be patient and remain sheltered in place", said St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles. He also described downed power lines and other debris.

Central Georgia, eastern Alabama and southern SC: 3 to inches, isolated 10 inches.

Before Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida over the weekend, the hurricane devastated islands in the Caribbean.

Jacksonville will start to fix and rebuild Tuesday after the city was hit hard by a powerful storm system that tore through the state of Florida over the weekend and into Monday.

Gov. Scott said his biggest worry as the storm came ashore was that people didn't evacuate and they didn't understand the risk. The governor also ordered that the state government be shut Monday and Tuesday "for all employees except essential personnel".

"Irma has officially passed and this is what she left", said Michala Laufle, who rode out Irma in the Keys.

Authorities are letting residents and business owners to return to Upper Keys islands close to the mainland, but people from the Lower Keys face a longer wait.

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

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