Hurricane Irma Has Left a Trail of Destruction

Sep 13, 2017, 00:18
Hurricane Irma Has Left a Trail of Destruction

The system went on to slam the Gulf Coast and, as a downgraded tropical storm, continued to spread record flooding in northern Florida and parts of SC.

Hurricane Irma that pummelled Florida all through Sunday and early Monday has claimed at least five lives, plunged almost six million homes in darkness and remained a major risk for flash floods despite weakening to a tropical storm.

It was hard to get detailed information on the condition of the island chain where Irma first came ashore over the weekend because communication and access were all but cut off by the storm's arrival as a Category 4 hurricane.

In Georgia, utilities reported nearly 390,000 customers without power.

Irma is now a strong tropical storm with sustained winds around the northern edge of the center of circulation as high as 70mph, along with some higher gusts.

It's still way too early to know exactly where Jose will end up, but it wouldn't be a bad idea for the United States to get comfortable with another hurricane making landfall. Tropical storm conditions are possible on the Treasure Coast throughout the day Monday with showers and possibly a thunderstorm.

As the storm weakens as it heads toward Georgia, outages have leveled off or even declined at other Florida utilities, while increasing in Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.

The forecast track has the center of Irma heading into southern Georgia this afternoon and moving through eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday.

FPL said its two nuclear plants were safe.

At least 10 deaths in the U.S. Southeast are now blamed on Irma, including people hit by falling trees or tree limbs. Emera's Tampa Electric utility reported 300,000 homes and businesses lost power by Monday morning. FPL is a unit of Florida energy company NextEra Energy.

However, he said, "We got super, super lucky". The plant stopped operating in 2009 and was retired in 2013.

So far, few images of the damage have popped up, as the storm takes its final breaths on Florida. In the Atlanta metro area, about 496 stations, or 12.2 percent, were out of gasoline, according to information service Gas Buddy.