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Floridians assess damages as weakening Hurricane Irma heads north

12 September 2017

Although the storm veered to the west, sparing South Florida the catastrophe of a direct hit, it was so wide that the region had to endure a long day of hurricane-force gusts, heavy rains and unsafe storm surges. The city's Memorial Park has turned into an unrecognizable lake. "The St. Johns River has not seen these flooding levels since 1846". "The community is going to get together and clean up and continue having a good life". With wind gusts reaching 70 miles per hour, officials ordered a daytime curfew for the 112,000 residents of Lowndes County, which includes Valdosta.

Trump, who is slated to return to the White House later on Sunday, has been "monitoring this storm 24/7", Pence told reporters during a visit to the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on Sunday.

"It wasn't supposed to be like this", CNN correspondent Sara Sidner said from Daytona Beach. At the US Embassy in Havana, part of a fence that guards the compound was knocked over.

A video of a meteorologist fighting against Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida, went viral Sunday as the winds almost knocked the reporter off his feet.

That's because some islands are extremely hard to access.

"What we feared the most was the surge", he said Monday on MSNBC.

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On top of that, "there's no electricity throughout the Keys".

Rainfall forecast through Thursday from the National Weather Service.

A Key Largo restaurant and bar called Snappers - where Weir had interviewed people on Thursday as the storm was still days away - is now "completely gone", Weir said.

As of 6 a.m., over 5.7 million customers were without power in Florida - that's roughly 58 per cent of all customers in the state. "It's going to take a lot of time".

He said boats were cast ashore, water, sewers and electricity were knocked out, and "I don't think I saw one trailer park where nearly everything wasn't overturned". When evacuation orders in SC and Georgia are included, the number climbs to 6.8 million. But that doesn't mean all Floridians should try to go back home.

One British couple said yesterday that they had been refused permission to board a French evacuation flight from St Martin after the crew reportedly said they did not have permission to take "refugees".

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In an interview with ABC News, Roman Gastesi, the administrator of Monroe County, which includes the Keys, said, "Unfortunately, you start to hear stories of folks that stayed in houses that shouldn't".

"I just hope everybody survived", Mr Scott said.

An initial estimate from Moody's Analytics on Monday projected property destruction from Irma between $64 billion and $92 billion.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for some barrier islands. Schools in the state planned to close Monday.

Hurricane Irma continued to roar through the Caribbean on Friday, taking dead aim at Florida.

Five storm-related deaths have reported so far in the U.S. state, after Irma crossed ten Caribbean countries and territories, killing at least 28 people. Both units at its Turkey Point facility, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Miami, were shut by early Monday.

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Last month, Hurricane Harvey devastated much of coastal Texas and killed more than 70 people.

Floridians assess damages as weakening Hurricane Irma heads north