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SC authorities confirm first Irma-related death

12 September 2017

Hurricane Irma has been downgraded from a category three hurricane to category one on Monday but remains a force to be reckoned with after blasting up the west coast of Florida.

Search and rescue teams in Florida are due to swing into action as daylight reveals the extent of damage wreaked by Hurricane Irma.

A auto covered by a downed tree is shown the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Marco Island, Florida.

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According to The New York Times, almost a million people are already without power in Georgia. It also caused flooding and outages in Georgia and SC as it moved inland.

It caused record flooding in parts of Florida after it left a path of deadly destruction on several Caribbean islands.

However, with more than 6.5 million account holders sitting in the dark, the vast majority of outages are in the Sunshine State, according to Florida Power & Light, Florida's largest electric utility company.

Hurricane Irma climbs Florida coast, unsafe storm surges feared
It also spread misery into Georgia and SC as it moved inland with winds at 50 miles per hour , causing flooding and power outages. Nielsen had to shut down a national data center in Oldsmar, Fla., area in advance of Hurricane Irma hitting the area.

Irma hit southwest Florida on Sunday morning as a risky Category 4 hurricane, the second-highest level on the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale. This means most people who chose to stay hunkered down at home or in a shelter can expect hurricane-force winds in excess of 74 miles per hour.

Additionally, four deaths were reported in the U.S. Virgin Islands, three deaths were reported in Puerto Rico, five deaths were reported in Florida and one death was reported in SC.

As of 2 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph.

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The surge in Charleston came from the Atlantic Ocean, and forecasters predicted that the water would push about a mile inland. FEMA chief Brock Long said some places won't have electricity for weeks. Rains and storm surge also flooded coastal areas in Georgia and SC. "We all sort of scattered around the country when we evacuated, so we're trying to stay in touch, " said Suzanne Trottier, who left her Key West, Florida, home for Virginia nearly a week ago ahead of Irma.

- Miami streets turned into raging rivers as floodwaters surged, and the city's airport is closed because of significant water damage.

"Along with the high wind threat, another concern will be the potential for life-threatening storm surge inundation along and near the Southwest Florida Gulf Coast as the storm exits", the weather service warned West Central Florida.

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

SC authorities confirm first Irma-related death