Aerial footage over Marco Island after Hurricane Irma released

Ebony Scott
September 13, 2017

Hours before Hurricane Irma hit Florida, the water in Tampa Bay was sucked out by the storm. So far, power supply has been restored to 1.1 million affected users, according to the company. And despite being downgraded after moving over Florida and Georgia, it's not over: officials say floodwaters brought by the storm won't peak in some rivers until Tuesday - when new high-water records could be set.

The storm has slowly weakened as it traveled up the Florida coast, and was officially downgraded on Monday morning to a tropical storm.

-5 (progressively turned 4 and 3) storm battered the Bahamas, the Florida Keys and then southwest Florida.

Power losses in Georgia, which were nearing 400,000 as of 1 p.m. EDT, were expected to increase as the storm moved north.

Florida outages for Duke, the state's second biggest power company serving the northern and central parts of the state, remained at about 1.2 million overnight, according to the company's website, while Duke's outages in North and SC climbed to about 160,000.

In the past few hours, Florida has been battling Hurricane Irma, which struck the Caribbean as a Category 5 cyclone but has weakened as it headed to the United States mainland.

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Downed trees and debris littered the roads, he said , but the city did not experience any storm surge like it feared. Almost 75 percent of Miami-Dade County's 1.1 million electricity customers were without power as of 1 p.m.

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Earlier today, the storm cell was downgraded to a category two, as authorities confirm at least three people have died in storm related vehicle crashes.

A Navy aircraft carrier was due to anchor off Key West to help in search-and-rescue efforts. That toll included 10 killed in Cuba and state media said most of those died in Havana, where seawater surged deep into residential neighbourhoods.

Scott also announced that once the Department of Transportation clears road access to Port Everglades and Port Tampa, the Florida Highway Patrol will start to escort fuel trucks to gas stations.

But The Associated Press has been texting with John Huston, who has been riding out the storm in his house on Key Largo, on the Atlantic side of the island, just south of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

The US has always had hurricane seasons, but this is the first time it has gotten this bad.

If original projections had materialized, Tampa could have faced significant flooding issues, downed trees, a downtown inundated with water and people displaced for a long time, he said. Universal Orlando said Monday that all three of its parks will reopen at 9 a.m. Tuesday. Sea World also said all of its animals are safe.

Other reports by GizPress

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