Published: Tue, September 12, 2017
World | By Paul Elliott

Irma weakens to tropical storm, continues its crawl to Columbus

Irma weakens to tropical storm, continues its crawl to Columbus

The latest tracking still takes Irma back more westwards tonight and overnight as it heads north into more central U.S. - but the further eastwards movement in the past few hours has saved Tampa from a potentially catastrophic storm surge - but has now placed Orlando more in harms way of tornadoes, flooding and damaging hurricane force winds in the hours ahead.

Residents and holidaymakers were ordered to stay indoors until the storm had passed, with many Brits left holed up in apartments or hotel rooms.

This means most people who chose to stay hunkered down at home or in a shelter can expect hurricane-force winds in excess of 74 miles per hour.

Hurricane Irma officially made USA landfall at 9:10 Cudjoe Key.

"What they're all saying is that's all going to flood Miami, but then it's going to surge back, and it's going to come to about 15 to 25 foot". It took power crews two hours to disconnect the electricity so the mane could escape the vehicle.

Michael Rivers of North Lauderdale, Fla., said losing power took him from "anxious before and during the storm, to bored and angry after due to the loss of's hot".

"I say we didn't dodge a bullet, we dodged a cannonball", Miami Beach mayor Philip Levine told CNBC on Monday.

Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal has already declared a state emergency for all 159 counties as Irma barrels toward the state.

It looks like the storm should weaken over the next 48 hours.

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

The North West Company is determining just how badly Hurricane Irma damaged its businesses in the Caribbean as the storm made a destructive trek through the region last week.

Hurricane Irma did its damage to South Florida - downed trees, power lines and roofs were ripped apart.

We've had our eyes on Irma for over a week but there is actually another storm in the Atlantic. This was the second time this year that a category four storm made landfall in the United States, Harvey was the first.

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