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Irma weakens into a tropical depression; full scale of destruction still uknown

13 September 2017

Scott drove from Pensacola to Mobile, Ala., Monday morning to catch a flight aboard a U.S. Coast Guard C-130 for an aerial tour of the Florida Keys, according to his office.

Firefighters on one of South Carolina's largest barrier islands are now staying inside until the worst weather from Tropical Storm Irma passes.

Hurricane Irma made a landfall on Marco Island off Florida's west coast as a Category four storm early on Sunday morning and tore through the area with winds of about 192 km per hour.

Hurricane Irma hit southwest Florida on Sunday, downing power lines, uprooting trees and turning streets into rivers.

That's because wind from the east side of Irma would be blowing toward Tampa, pushing water from the bay inland and raising the height of the storm surge, he said.

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"All the parks have been closed as of Saturday 7pm local time and won't be opening again until Tuesday morning at the earliest". An 8 p.m. curfew has been imposed for Miami for the next two nights, and no one is allowed out on the streets until they're cleared, Miami Beach officials said.

Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to Tropical Storm Irma, but that doesn't mean it didn't do plenty of damage while at the height of its power. More than 200,000 had electricity restored, mostly by automated devices.

Hurricane Irma has begun its assault on Florida with the storm's northern eyewall reaching the lower Florida Keys as a powerful Category 4 storm.

"As the storm approaches from the south, places like Tampa and Port Charlotte are getting strong winds out of the northeast", CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said of the phenomenon.

While the winds were impressive, the storm surge was incredible, too!

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The director of emergency services for Collier County, Dan Summers, said "We have dodged a bullet with the storm's track".

The tropical storm warning which was in effect for Irma ravaged Barbuda and its sister island Antigua has been called off by the government of Antigua. 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.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says the Navy has deployed the USS Iwo Jima, USS New York and the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to help with search and rescue amid reports of devastation in the hurricane-battered Keys.

- At least 26 deaths have been blamed on Irma in the Caribbean islands, where it hit before barreling toward Florida. The company's system will need to be rebuilt, particularly in the western part of the state, Gould said.

Residents begin returning to storm-battered Florida Keys
In Gainesville, more than 60% of stations are still out of gas, according to GasBuddy, which tracks fuel prices and availability. Both units at its Turkey Point facility, about 30 miles (48 km) south of Miami, were shut by early Monday.

Irma weakens into a tropical depression; full scale of destruction still uknown