Hurricane Jose weakens some but remains risky Category 4 storm

Naples Herald

Authorities are still surveying damage from the record-breaking storm, and this story will be updated as more details emerge.

More than six million homes and businesses remained without power on Tuesday in Florida and thousands were still displaced as the full scale of the damage left by Hurricane Irma was revealed.

Tommy Nevitt carries Miranda Abbott, 6, through floodwater caused by Hurricane Irma on the west side of Jacksonville, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11 2017. The hurricane, once a fearsome Category 5 when it smashed into Caribbean islands last week, had top sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (85 kph) late Monday afternoon.

"Strong winds and flash flooding still a major risk with the storm as it moves into north Florida and toward Georgia over the next 24 hours", the center said.

More than 1,100 police, military officials and others were deployed to St Martin and the nearby French Caribbean territory of St Barts, both of which have been devastated by Hurricane Irma. Forecasts call for Irma's center to arrive far inland in southern Georgia on Monday after it churns up the west coast of Florida.

The massive storm triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people, and made two landfalls Sunday.

The eye of Category 3 Hurricane Irma crossed into mainland Florida near Naples on Sunday afternoon after striking the Florida Keys at Category 4 strength on Sunday morning.

The region was still without power and running water, though there were no reports of any fatalities.

Florida Gov. Scott said Sunday that "we're going to do everything we can to keep every person in our state alive and protected,"and "I know the winds are going to be very devastating and life threatening".

It's moving northwest at a quick 15 miles per hour. No injuries were reported.

Naples Herald
Naples Herald

- Almost 4 million electric customers are without power across Florida, according to utility companies. That's 64 percent of the state's power customers, and there are several counties where 80-90 percent of customers are without power. Streets flooded, and flying objects turned into risky projectiles.

In downtown Miami, two of the two dozen construction cranes looming over the skyline collapsed in the wind.

Matthew Spuler captured video of waves crashing over a seawall toward his downtown high-rise building.

"You can't survive these storm surges", Scott told CNN Saturday evening.

Florida emergency management officials have asked another 700,000 to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Warning that Irma would be worse than Hurricane Andrew - which killed 65 people in 1992 - Florida's governor said all 20.6 million Floridians should prepare to flee. A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect from wWest of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line, north of Fernandina Beach to South Santee River, south of the Anclote River to Bonita Beach, and south of Sebastian Inlet to Jupiter Inlet, including Lake Okeechobee. Antigua was under a tropical storm watch. Petersburg area early Monday, though in a much-weakened state.

Irma hit Cuba's Ciego de Avila province late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane before it weakened and headed to the United States.

"With Irma's landfall in Cudjoe Key, it's the first Category 4 hurricane to strike Florida since Charley in 2004".

The hurricane "seriously affects" the central provinces of Camaguey and Ciego de Avila, Cuban meteorologist Elier Pila said on state television.

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