WHAT'S HAPPENING: Deaths, floods, misery from Irma hit South

Ruben Ruiz
September 13, 2017

Louis Castro picks up a coconut downed by the winds of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida.

As of 2100 AEST on Sunday, the hurricane was centred about 25km south-southeast of Key West, Florida, and was moving northwest at 13km/h. "So on Monday, not only are we expecting windy conditions, probably sustained winds of 30, maybe 40 miles an hour with higher gusts". Roads were flooded, but city spokesman Zachery Good said the majority of Homestead's mobile homes were spared destruction.

Irma hit southern Florida Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing roof-ripping winds, gushing flood waters and widespread power outages.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, and school was canceled in communities around the state.

Meanwhile, the National Weather Service issued a storm surge warning for the SC coast through the northern border of Charleston County.

Jim Gandy, Meteorologist Efren Afante, and Meteorologist Daniel Bonds are all tracking the storm, and will have regular updates online, on our Facebook page, and on TV.

On Florida's west coast, resident Charley Ball said he expected a storm surge to completely engulf the island of Sanibel where he lives.

Once Irma makes landfall, the storm is expected to decrease in intensity after it makes contact with the southwest Florida coast, and then weaken as it moves north over the western Florida coast and into the panhandle.

Jacksonville, the largest city geographically in the country, is grappling with a record storm surge and vast flooding.

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Affected states include Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina.

At least nine deaths in the US are now attributed to Irma, some hit by falling trees or tree limbs and one killed in a storm-related auto accident.

The National Hurricane Center forecast potentially deadly storm surges - water driven ashore by the winds - of up to 15 feet (4.6 m).

Irma, which killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean, was likely to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous USA state.

"You're on your own until we can actually get in there and it's safe", he told CNN.

At least five people died of storm-related injuries in Florida as the massive hurricane barreled across the Sunshine State.

There's room for more, County Administrator Mike Merrill said, but he urged people to stay put for now.

- More than 6.2 million electric customers are without power in Florida, Gov. Rick Scott's office said Monday.

Other reports by GizPress

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