Hurricane floods leave Cubans waist-deep in water

Hurricane Irma approached Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday. The storm had been a Category 5 — with 185-mph winds

At least five deaths have been blamed on the storm so far and 6 million people are without power.

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties.

"Had this even gone from Miami-Dade County in southeast Florida up the east coast, it was probably a billion plus for Heritage".

As of Monday the storm had weakened to a depression, with wind speeds of 60 miles per hour (95 kilometers per hour), but it continued to threaten northern parts of the state with flooding. It was smacking Naples after coming ashore in Marco Island at 3:35 p.m.

Around the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, where Irma rolled through early Monday, damage appeared modest.

"We all sort of scattered around the country when we evacuated, so we're trying to stay in touch", said Suzanne Trottier, who left her Key West, Florida, home for Virginia nearly a week ago ahead of Irma.

Irma caused some of Jacksonville's worst flooding in more than 150 years.

Post-hurricane storm surge in the Florida Keys was limited and it remains unclear if two reported deaths there were storm-related.

As Irma makes her way through Florida, people are less anxious about valuables and more concerned about safety. Outside Charleston, waterspouts raged in from the churning seas as water gushed through the city.

Irma tied Florida Keys (1935), Gilbert (1988), and Wilma (2005) for the second strongest maximum winds of all-time for an Atlantic hurricane when it topped out at 185 miles per hour.

"This is likely to be one of the largest and most complex power restoration efforts in US history", said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group.

Florida Governor Rick Scott told CNN, "My heart goes out to the people in the Keys", and he's not sure at this time how evacuations will commence.

"I am concerned about people that don't believe in the storm surge", said Virginia Defreeuw, 76, who fled her mobile home in Naples to a shelter.

"We're not saying get in your auto and go", Merrill said.

Last October, Hurricane Matthew spared Florida from experiencing its strongest side - the right side - because its center tracked along the eastern coastline of the state.

The National Weather Service in Atlanta issued a tropical storm watch for the area Monday and Tuesday.

And in Alabama, some city school districts including Birmingham, Huntsville and Auburn planned to close Monday and in some cases Tuesday. At least 11 people died on the mainland US from the hurricane.

Some residents compared the impact of Irma to that of two other memorable hurricanes that hit Cuba: Wilma in 2005 and Kate in 1985.

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