Irma floods Jacksonville as storm heads north

Aaron Brown
September 13, 2017

Irma, which was expected to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous USA state, it hit just days after the Houston area was deluged by unprecedented flooding from Hurricane Harvey, which dumped more than 127cm of rain in parts of Texas.

Drone footage shows houses partially submerged in murky water, uprooted trees, widespread flooding, as well as roofing debris lying scattered next to homes that have been torn off in Irma's strong winds.

Irma is now moving away from the coast of Cuba and is making landfall on the Florida Keys, which forms the southernmost portion of the state.

Irma is now a post-tropical cyclone, ragged and weakened after ravaging the Caribbean and tearing through Florida.

Footage of the islands showed homes torn apart by sustained winds of up to 130 miles per hour, which left the Keys without electricity, running water and cellphone service. Many of them could think in terms of moving back only after restoration of power supply. "There's devastation. I just hope everybody survived". That is perhaps more favorable than the previous advisory that projected the hurricane approaching the East Coast on more of a western path.

The hurricane made USA landfall twice on Sunday, in the Florida Keys and at Marco Island.

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But when it came to the west coast of the peninsula, the storm was not as destructive as some had originally feared, Scott said. Irma is now over Georgia, South Carolina, North Carolina, Alabama and Tennessee. The death toll from the storm also rose in the Caribbean, where at least 34 people are confirmed dead. In fact, Jacksonville, Florida recorded their highest-ever storm surge flooding already.

"We get into your Tuesday, it's not even windy anymore", he said.

More than 660,000 Tampa Bay homes and businesses were without power overnight as 70- to 85-mph winds hit the region, with gusts approaching triple digits.

Damage was still being assessed in the Florida Keys: the island chain remained somewhat cut off from communication after highways into the area were rendered impassable by the storm.

It is not known how the Florida citrus industry forecast will be impacted by the weather system, with the first official forecast of the season due on 12 October.

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