Hurricane Irma a weak Cat 1 east of Cedar Key

Cyclists are caught along the Fort Lauderdale waterfront

"Everyone is working to get assets here, get our power back on".

There was more good news for the United States, and some of the previously hit Caribbean islands who had been in the path of Irma, but were spared by the second category four Hurricane, Jose.

The threat of tornadoes and flooding in southeast Georgia is decreasing, the National Weather Service says, but strong winds of tropical storm force - and gusts to hurricane force - are expected to continue.

Florida Governor Rick Scott drove to Mobile to begin the first leg of assessing damage in Florida from Hurricane Irma. "We may have been a little bit lucky in that it went on the west, and may not have been quite as destructive, but we're going to see", the president said.

"This is going to be a very, very lengthy restoration, arguably the most lengthy restoration and most complex in US history", he said, asking that customers be patient.

The Keys are cut off from the mainland, as the 42 bridges that link them are being assessed for damage.

Worse yet, more waves can ride on top of the surge.

"There is little change to the overall forecast philosophy, as Jose completes a slow anticyclonic loop over open waters for the next 72 hours", the National Hurricane Center said in its online forecast discussion.

Reuters reported that almost 6 million homes and businesses are without power in Florida.

"We feel the building swaying all the time", Miami restaurant owner Deme Lomas told Reuters by phone from his 35th-floor apartment.

Water appears to be disappearing from waterways around Tampa Bay.

The state had issued a mandatory evacuation order for over 6 million people in southern and western Florida, making it one of the largest evacuations in USA history. 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.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport were closed on Monday.

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