But by the time Irma arrived in the middle of the night Monday, its winds were down to 100 miles per hour (161 kph) or less.
Cubans walked through ankle-deep water in Caibarien, a fishing town where streets were flooded and covered in seaweed.
"It's certainly one of those metropolitan areas where we have one of the greatest concerns, particularly with storm surge, particularly with inexperience", Feltgen said. "It will take a while to recover from this, at least a few years." said Risle Echemendia, 28. But the storm's unpredictability made even evacuation challenging. Shelters opened. They filled.
Meanwhile, as dusk fell Saturday in Havana, the churning waters moved inland from the city's popular seafront boulevard. Water levels were up throughout the day, rising almost a foot above normal in Key West after 4:30 p.m. and more than a foot near Vaca Key. US Marines and Cuban police surrounded the area. Elsewhere in the Caribbean, 24 deaths have been attributed to Irma. Customers from St. Petersburg to Daytona will be without power for up to three to four days.
The Cuban government prepared by staging emergency supplies and building equipment ahead of the arrival of Irma.
Seattle Seahawks vs. Green Bay Packers, Week 1
In between those two scores, Seattle used the running of Chris Carson and Wilson to get to the Green Bay 3 for a first-and-goal. Last season the Green Bay Packers went on a roll in the second half of the season that almost took them to the Super Bowl.
The television station also reported that the streets of Miami became raging rivers as floods rose, and the global airport suffered 'major water damage'.
Pedro Rizo Martinez, a local television reporter, broadcast that it was impossible to leave his location overnight due to strong winds and rain, but said it appeared there was damage to hotels and infrastructure.
"The hurricane winds lashed the shutters violently, throughout the night", he wrote in a text message, "making sleep impossible". Petersburg area by early Monday, though in a much-weakened state.
It left more than 20 people dead across the Caribbean, and as it moved north over the Gulf of Mexico's bathtub-warm water of almost 90 degrees, regained strength.
The Indian embassy in Venezuela tweeted the helpline number in Aruba, a tiny Dutch Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela, for the situation in Sint Maarten: 00297-593-2552.
The entire state of Georgia is now covered in rain from Irma
The storm is now about 60 miles northwest of Gainesville, Florida and moving at about 17 mph toward the Chattahoochee Valley area. The Times reports that as many as 5.8 million people in the state are without power, and at least four people are reported dead.
"The storm system may cause flooding, power outages and tornadoes", according to a county press release.
Tom Durr, a 66-year-old retired physician who along with his wife, Lorraine, fled their house near a large bay on the Gulf Coast on Tuesday for a small farm they own in North Carolina, said he does not expect much to be left when they return.
Chen said the strength, size and forward motion of the hurricane affect ocean surface waves, water level and temperature - effectively changing the shape of the ocean. Between Friday and Sunday afternoon, the United States evacuated approximately 1,200 Americans from St. Maarten, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
Flooding, roof damage and floating appliances and furniture were reported in the low-lying Keys, but with the storm still hitting around midday, the full extent of Irma's wrath was not clear.
Led by New York Consul General Sandeep Chakravorty, Atlanta consulate officials visited several evacuee shelters housing people mainly from Tampa, Florida, to ascertain their welfare and wellbeing. It struck the island as a Category 5 storm and moved away as a Category 3. The island is home to about 72,000 people. "And I knew that the cable box was hit, the tree came down and the whole house shook".
Hurricane Irma: Florida shuts down air travel
Miami's airport is open for now, though its primary tenant - American Airlines - said it will halt its schedule there by 4 p.m. JetBlue Airways and American Airlines are helping people get out of the region before they shut down operations in the state.
CNN also shared drone footage of Tortola and the British Virgin Islands after Hurricane Irma. Travel into and out of the state likewise remained stymied. "We're doing everything possible to help save lives and support those in need-again we've never seen anything like this". "I am truly heartbroken by this news". "We were in shock when we went outside", Garcia, 34, told CNN Monday.
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