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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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.
Irma Leaves Widespread Devastation, Flooding In Florida
EDT, the storm was centred about 25 miles (40 kilometres) northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph (24 kph). As the storm progressed through Florida overnight, many trees were uprooted and severe damage was caused to homes.
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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