Don't shoot at Hurricane Irma, Florida sheriff warns locals

Henrietta Strickland
September 13, 2017

Cooper reminded residents that Irma can change track, pointing back to Hurrican Matthew and the unexpected significance that it caused.

Irma has weakened and is now moving north.

Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sunday, flooding streets, spawning tornadoes, knocking out power to more than 3 million people across the state and snapping massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline. Despite being weaker than Hurricane Matthew was when it passed by the city in 2016, Tropical Storm Irma helped push a greater amount of water onshore, and it struck right at the time of high tide.

Miami-Dade wants residents to stay where they are, and plan to be there until Monday at the earliest.

Rain and winds have subsided in Florida, but the state is still reeling from the storm's destruction.

At least 20 inches of rain were predicted through Wednesday, and Irma's mass dwarfs that of the entire state of Florida.

President Donald Trump has vowed a full response to Irma and continued federal support for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded Texas. Its center hit portions of the Keys on Sunday but missed Miami and Naples, then skirted Tampa as the storm slowed. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that 95 percent of all structures on the island were damaged or destroyed, leaving the island "barely habitable".

Irma was packing 160 miles per hour (260 kph) winds when it made landfall in Cuba, the first storm of that power to reach the island since 1932. It will last until Monday morning.

The storm killed at least 28 people as it raged through the Caribbean en route to Florida.

As of Sunday night, 112,759 customers for Tampa Electric had lost power, the utility said on its website.

More than 116,000 were reported to have taken refuge in some 530 shelters across Florida, The Washington Post and other news outlets reported. "It seems like people are starting to get more frightened". The danger comes not only from the flooding, but from downed trees and power lines in the water.

Miami International Airport, Tampa International Airport, Fort Lauderdale - Hollywood International Airport and Orlando International Airport are likewise shut down.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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