Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Business | By Max Garcia

Residents begin returning to storm-battered Florida Keys

Residents begin returning to storm-battered Florida Keys

Florida residents who stayed home to brace the monster storm have been documenting the hurricane on social media - posting videos and photographs of streets in downtown Miami that are becoming rivers.

At 5 a.m. Monday Category 2 Jose was located a few hundred miles northeast of Grand Turk Island steadily moving toward the north northwest near 10 mph with maximum sustained winds of 105 mph. They told Florida residents if they see a break in the storm, they're still not to leave their houses.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Irma's wrath is unprecedented, warning that storm surges could be deadly.

Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm early Monday and is expected to weaken further into a tropical storm as it moves over far northern Florida or southern Georgia, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, as the storm's eye continues its northward trek, leaving Miami-Dade to the east but below it, the county can finally expect some of the unrelenting winds that have been buffeting it to change direction and slow down.

"We will have to rebuild part of our system, particularly in the western part of the state". "This is a dire and life-threatening situation".

Close to 600,000 homes and businesses were without power as of Sunday morning, according to utilities.

More than 75,000 people checked into 400 emergency shelters statewide, but overall, only three storm-related deaths were reported in Florida through late Sunday.

A Florida sheriff's sergeant and a paramedic were trapped in a sheriff's vehicle when a live power pole fell on the cruiser as they were returning from dropping off an elderly patient as Hurricane Irma moved over the state.

Meanwhile, in Florida, officials were telling people to prepare to hunker down for at least 12 hours once Irma makes landfall. In the mountains, that could produce risky flash flooding; the N.C. National Guard is staging about 315 soldiers and airmen in Charlotte, Greensboro and Asheville on Sunday in case they're needed in the coming days with debris removal, shelter operations and delivering and distributing supplies, according to Gov. Roy Cooper's office.

An 8-10 foot storm surge is possible starting late Sunday into Monday for southwest Florida.

"Just left the island and said goodbye to everything I own", said Ball, 62.

President Donald Trump declared Florida a major disaster area Sunday, a step that will release federal aid funds for storm victims more quickly.

Forecasters say it kills more people than the strong winds.

Like this: