Hurricane Irma strangles Florida with two landfalls, 5 killed

Jessica Allison
September 14, 2017

There were no immediate confirmed reports of any deaths in Florida. This is the longest any cyclone has maintained that intensity on record, according to Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric scientist at Colorado State University.

Irma weakened to a Category 2 storm, technically losing its major hurricane status, after making landfall in southwestern Florida.

Hurricane Irma killed three people when it struck the southern Florida Keys island chain as a more powerful Category 4 on Sunday.

Authorities sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to Florida to help with search-and-rescue operations Monday as a flyover of the hurricane-battered Keys yielded what the governor said were scenes of devastation.

A Carnival spokesman said the situation in Florida on Sunday was still not clear enough to fully assess how widespread the effects will be.

Sustained winds of more than 200km/h were reported when the storm first made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday, but by Monday had dropped to around 130km/h. Although the hurricane weakened while crossing Tampa, a city on the west bank of Florida, early Monday morning, it still toppled trees and caused a wide range of power outages across the city.

As Irma moves inland, more than 45 million people will face tropical storm conditions.

The wind was already picking up in St Petersburg, some 400 miles north the Keys, and people began bracing for the onslaught.

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Parish, who led a consortium that purchased the club in 2010, told fans: "We are four games in, it's a awful start but we have to stick together".

Matthew Spuler, who has been documenting the severe rain and winds from a sky-rise on Instagram, shared a video that showed the flooded streets in the downtown part of the city.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, and school was canceled in communities around the state.

More than two million people were also left without power across the state, which is home to President Trump's famous resort, Mar-a-Lago, located in Palm Beach on the east side of the state. Beginning as a Category 4 storm, Jose was downgraded to a Category 2 Sunday - a lesser storm, but one that could still bring destructive winds and rain.

The storm has been blamed for more than 40 deaths, including six in Florida, three in Georgia and one in SC.

Fort Lauderdale police arrested nine people they said were caught on TV cameras looting sneakers and other items from a sporting goods store and a pawn shop during the hurricane.

Strom surge warnings are in place for areas including Tampa Bay as well as many areas in South Florida. "Stay inside. Stay safe", he added.

"I will tell you in no uncertain terms - and I am not going to sugarcoat it - this is going to be a hard storm", Buckhorn said at the news conference. "Preparation for this storm will not detract from World Vision's continued response to Hurricane Harvey", the children's charity said.

"We're also identifying chaplains on the East Coast who have volunteered for Harvey, to redirect them to Irma, because we've had such an overwhelming response from our chaplains", said Jack Munday, worldwide director of the Rapid Response Team.

Other reports by My Hot News

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