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Surveying the Damage: Irma Leaves Flooding and Destruction across Florida

Dale Hurd : Sep 11, 2017 : CBN News

While the Florida Keys took a direct hit, and while the rest of the state saw plenty of damage, Florida was shown some mercy with the winds somewhat diminished before landfall.

[CBN News] Hurricane Irma hit Florida on Sunday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, ripping off roofs, flooding streets and knocking out power to millions. (Photo: Flooding in Florida from Hurricane Irma/CBN News)

By this morning, Irma had weakened to a Tropical storm, with maximum sustained winds at 70 mph but still managed to unleash more destruction, including storm surge flooding.

Additional weakening is forecast as Irma heads into northern Florida and southern Georgia.

"The forecast track takes the center then into Georgia tomorrow and ultimately with the system weakening, becoming a tropical depression by Tuesday," Ed Rappaport of the National Hurricane Center said.

But behind Irma was a trail of destruction.

Miami escaped Irma's center but was still hammered by flooding and high winds. Gusts approached 100 miles per hour.

Winds were so strong in Miami that at least 3 construction cranes crashed into buildings.

The storm even produced some tornadoes.

And in cities across Southern Florida, a storm surge turned roads into rivers.

Irma caused one of the largest U.S. evacuations ever, with nearly 7 million people in the Southeast warned to seek shelter elsewhere, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

Some four and a half million people across the state lost power, and utility officials say it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone.

President Trump approved a disaster declaration for Florida, opening the way for federal aid.

A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, where many schools canceled classes because of the storm.

In parts of the Virgin Islands, Irma left close to total devastation.

In Havana, sea water submerged several blocks from the coast, leaving an entire neighborhood underwater, while the whole city was without electricity.

Cuban officials say at least 10 people were killed by the storm there. And across the Caribbean, another 24 people were killed on other islands.

Irma was once the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 mph.

While the Florida Keys took a direct hit, and while the rest of the state saw plenty of damage, Florida was shown some mercy with the winds somewhat diminished before landfall.







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