Power Out For More Than 60 Percent Of Florida Homes And Businesses

Henrietta Strickland
September 13, 2017

It caused major damage to tourist infrastructure, including an worldwide airport on the sandy keys popular with Europeans and Canadians. Georgia Power says at least 1.2 million people in the state are without power.

As of 8 a.m., Irma's winds are at 70 miles per hour as it passed over Tampa and continues to produce wind gusts to near hurricane-force as it pushes north across the state.

Almost two-thirds of Florida's 20 million residents were without power Monday after Tropical Storm Irma cut a destructive path through the state before churning north into Georgia.

"These tower cranes are created to withstand winds up to 145 miles per hour, not a Category 5 Hurricane", the city said in a statement last week.

Schools in the state planned to close Monday.

Incredibly, Irma was a hurricane for 11.25 days, which is the most since Ivan in 2004. As it arrives over the Tennessee Valley late this evening into Tuesday morning, it is expected to weaken to a tropical depression spreading 2 to 3 inches of rainfall with isolated amounts up to 4 inches across the area. Its center hit portions of the Keys on Sunday but missed Miami and Naples, then skirted Tampa as the storm slowed.

The hurricane made US landfall twice on Sunday, in the Florida Keys and at Marco Island. Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that 95 percent of all structures on the island were damaged or destroyed, leaving the island "barely habitable". It will last until Monday morning.

The state and the American Red Cross opened four shelters Saturday, including one at Johnston County Industries on Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield, in case they're needed to house people who fled Florida and other states in advance of the storm.

Over 6 million people have been evacuated from the state's low-lying coastal and southern areas.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) said Monday it has cancelled almost 900 flights, including many at its Atlanta hub, because of strong winds.

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

Much of eastern Alabama and coastal SC also were under tropical storm warnings as Irma pummeled Florida, weakening on its march northward.

In Miami-Dade, the highest gust Sunday was 99 miles per hour, said Ed Rappaport, acting director of the National Hurricane Center.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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