Irma impact: 13 million Floridians in the dark

Irma impact: 13 million Floridians in the dark

Hurricane Irma, an extremely powerful tropical cyclone, occurred over the Atlantic Ocean and is said to be the most intense hurricane to strike the United States since 2005 hurricane Katrina. They headed back out later in the day.

As of 8:00AM local time (10:00PM AEST), Irma's centre was about 169km north-northwest of Tampa and about 48km north-northeast of Cedar Key.

"I am sure there are still people that are still there, thinking that they can hunker down on this storm", Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told a press briefing Sunday, before paraphrasing a famous boxer's words.

Fort Lauderdale and New York: When more than 7.4 million homes and businesses are without power after a hurricane, utility workers tend to get noticed a bit more than usual. That risk extended to the coast of Georgia and parts of SC, the hurricane centre said.

"We have the largest flotilla operation in our nation's history to help not only the people of Puerto Rico, the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but also St. Martin and other non-U.S. islands affected", he said. "My concern is that even if we get to go in to the Lower Keys, our fragile infrastructure could be even more compromised".

Terrified Cubans who rode out Irma in coastal towns - after it made landfall Friday on the Camaguey archipelago as a maximum-strength Category 5 storm - reported "deafening" winds, uprooted trees and power lines, and rooftops blown off.

The Keys are linked by 42 bridges that have to be checked for safety before motorists can be allowed on the farther islands, officials said. Several people are without power today, but crews have already been working toward restoring that power and hope to be able to do so as soon as possible. Power is out to almost 6 million residents from Florida to the Carolina's. FEMA chief Brock Long said some areas of South Florida will not have electrical power for weeks. For more than three days of that total, it was a Category 5 - tying it with Cuba's deadly 1932 storm and setting a record for the satellite era, Klotzbach says. State media reported about 1 million people were evacuated from high-risk flood areas.

Gov. Rick Scott announced Monday morning that he would be touring the damage in the Keys with the US Coast Guard.

They managed to push his truck through standing water to a parking lot to dry out, but he's anxious about the swamped vehicle.

"I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned", Scott said.

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