Sun rises over the Florida devastation: 5.8million left without power and at least five dead after Irma marched across the state before being downgraded to a tropical storm

Monday, September 11, 2017
By Paul Martin

Irma weakened to a tropical storm on Monday, as it continued to pummel northern Florida
The storm is expected to move into Georgia later today, where Atlanta has been put on a tropical storm warning for the first time ever
About 5.8 million people are without power in the state and it could take up to a week for it to be restored
Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys early Monday morning then pushed up the Gulf Coast
The National Hurricane Center said water levels in Naples rose 7ft in just 90 minutes with substantial flooding
Five deaths reported in Florida so far but officials admit they do not have a definitive number of fatalities yet
The storm has toppled cranes, swallowed streets and ripped the roofs off homes
Nearly seven million people had been told to leave their homes in mandatory or voluntary evacuation orders
More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast
The storm has already claimed at least 25 lives across the Caribbean since it took hold earlier in the week

11 September 2017

The first Floridians will return home on Monday to survey the damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

The powerful hurricane made landfall Sunday morning in the Florida Keys as a category 4 storm and then made it’s way up the Golf Coast – knocking out power to some 5.8million Floridians, swamping downtown Miami with storm surge and blowing the roofs off homes.

More than 200,000 people waited in shelters statewide as Irma headed up the coast. Up to 10,000 people are believed to have stayed in their Florida Keys homes during the storm and now have no water, food or power, officials have warned.

As of Monday morning, the storm was still pummeling northern Florida, centered west of the city of Ocala, but had been downgraded to a tropical storm. The National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was in effect for a large rural area including the cities of Albany and Valdosta.

With rough conditions persisting across Florida, many communities in Irma’s wake feared what destruction would be revealed when daylight came.

The death toll jumped to five today with reports of a person found dead in a home in the Florida Keys.

But this morning, Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon said he could not confirm or deny reports of multiple deaths or extensive damage admitting: ‘I don’t have any numbers on fatalities at this point.’

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