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Some in Florida Return Home; Trump Says Irma Damage Worse Than Thought

13 September 2017

Trump said that he has been in communication with federal agencies and state governors now on the front lines of the storm. "I'm going in now for meetings but it's all about coordination", he said.

Residents have been allowed to return to some islands in the hurricane-hit Florida Keys as officials try to piece together the scope of Irma's destruction and rush aid to the drenched and debris-strewn state.

Hurricane Irma weakened as it pummeled Florida - but the storm still packed a powerful punch, spawning torrential downpours, tornadoes and flash floods. A day later, it had weakened to a tropical storm, but still brought unsafe storm surge flooding to Jacksonville.

It killed at least 26 people before leaving the Caribbean for Florida. A woman was killed when a downed tree struck her vehicle in Cumming, north of Atlanta, as the auto at in a private driveway, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

"It's awful, what we saw", Scott said.

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"We'll get some water to them as far as the drinking water", Gastesi told the station, adding that he's confident authorities will be able to help the community recover and rebuild. More than 350 people had to be rescued, he said.

Between 2,000 and 3,000 utility workers from out of state, sent to inspect and fix power lines, were staying in Broward County in cramped conditions at BB&T Center, home to the National Hockey League's Florida Panthers, said Gus Beyersdorf, 40, of De Pere, Wisconsin. "What's going to happen now?" I just hope everybody survived.

Other big power utilities in Florida include units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the biggest electric companies in Georgia and Alabama. Silagy also said that repairs to restore power could take days and rebuilding the electric system could take weeks. Irma was ranked at the rare top end of the scale of hurricane intensity, a Category 5, for days, and carried maximum sustained winds of up to 295 kmph when it crashed into the island of Barbuda on Wednesday. By Monday afternoon, its winds were down to 60 miles per hour.

The greatest impacts from Irma will be felt with winds increasing to 40 to 50 miles per hour with gusts near 70 miles per hour along and east of the center of the storm track by early this afternoon.

More substantial structures, like churches and businesses, showed less damage, although access to harder-hit islands remained closed.

Georgia, Hurricane Irma's next potential victim, braces for monster storm
Those periods of intense wind and rain will continue throughout the evening and will start to taper off by early Tuesday morning. By Monday afternoon, more than 800,000 Georgia Power and EMC customers mostly in coastal and south Georgia were without power.

"HELP IS ON THE WAY", they promised on Facebook.

Massive cleanup: Mayor Bill Barnett says trees are down and streets are flooded, even though the storm surge wasn't as bad as officials feared.

"We have very serious, significant river flooding along the banks of the St. Johns River". "Search and rescue teams are ready to deploy".

- All storm surge warnings and tropical storm warnings were discontinued Monday night. More than 100,000 customers were without power in Georgia and over 80,000 in SC.

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.

Some in Florida Return Home; Trump Says Irma Damage Worse Than Thought