'A Humanitarian Crisis': Irma Leaves Wake of Destruction in Florida Keys

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Irma hit Florida as a Category 4 hurricane on Sunday (10 September), but it has since been downgraded to a tropical storm.

10 people have been killed in Florida, Georgia and SC.

In total more than 4.5 million FPL customers were affected by the storm, with over 1.6 million having their service restored already, mostly by automated devices. "Right now, the timing looks like we'll start to see sustained winds as high as 25 to 30 miles per hour with wind gusts of 45 miles per hour right after 3 p.m". Irma's core was expected to reach southern Georgia on Monday afternoon before heading to Alabama.

Officials were still trying to fully assess the situation in Florida early Monday, AP said.

The mayors of Tampa and Miami Beach, two Florida cities that were at one point projected to take a direct hit from Hurricane Irma, said their communities were mostly spared.

Irma killed almost 40 people in the Caribbean and more than a dozen in Florida and Georgia.

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- One person was found dead in Orange County in a single-car accident linked to the storm, police said without providing details. The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

Officials scrambled to evacuate the island before the arrival of Hurricane Jose. Roads are flooded or covered with debris, and the cleanup efforts will be massive.

Big airports in Florida remain closed, and flight cancellations are spreading along the track of Tropical Storm Irma outside Florida.

Meanwhile, all scheduled votes are cancelled for Congress on Monday. Delta Air Lines is scrapping 900 flights Monday, including many at its Atlanta hub. It destroyed about one-third of the buildings on the Dutch-ruled portion of St Martin Island, the Dutch Red Cross said on Tuesday.

It hit the United States soon after Hurricane Harvey, which ploughed into Houston late last month, killing about 60 and causing some $US180 billion ($A224 billion) in damage, mostly from flooding. Facebook groups were forming Monday to help from afar.

Dennen is among the millions throughout much of the Southeast unable to perform simple tasks such as switching the lights on or setting the air conditioner on high in the post-storm humidity. A number of people who had fled the Keys and checked into our hotel were struggling to keep in touch with relatives who had chose to stay behind.

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