Hurricane Irma: Florida Keys facing potential 'humanitarian crisis'

Adjust Comment Print

Irma was forecast to weaken to a tropical storm as it moved near Florida's northwestern coast on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said. In fact, it's the pre-telephone era for most of us.

The Florida Keys had been cut off from the mainland for days after Irma made landfall on the low-lying islands Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 130 miles per hour winds and a storm surge of 10 feet. Duke Energy, which serves parts of central and western Florida, was reporting almost 862,000 outages.

The number of storm-related power outages peaked Monday at roughly 275,000, increasing as bands of wind and rain scraped across the state.

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson says a city employee, Arthur Strudwick, died after a single-vehicle crash during storms Monday night.

Florida Power & Light, which provides power to an estimated 4.9 million accounts across the state, had about 3.6 million outages as of Monday morning, according to S&P Global Platts.

Charles Saxon, 57, became South Carolina's first recorded death when he was struck by a tree limb while clearing debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls amid wind gusts of about 40 miles per hour (64 kph), according to a statement from Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley.

Early Tuesday, the remnants of Irma were blowing through Alabama and MS after drenching Georgia.

Early reports of Irma's aftermath seemed to show that damage in Florida from the massive storm were not as bad as initially feared.

Many areas are stranded and without access from outside help, with the islands of the Florida Keys and western parts of the state isolated after bearing the brunt of Irma.

A third death in SC has been attributed to Hurricane Irma.

WADA to clear 95 Russian athletes, report says
His 144-page independent study concluded more than 1,000 Russians benefitted from the doping programme across 30 sports. In May 2016, McLaren was tasked by Wada with investigating allegations of doping in Russian Federation .

As of this morning, 125 rescues have been made from floodwaters in Orange County, Florida, officials said. 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. Duke Energy reported the biggest problems with 100,000 customers without service.

One Naples resident told ABC News she was turned away from two shelters before she and her 10-year-old son were finally accepted at one.

Officials were struggling Monday to reach areas of the Florida Keys, as some of the islands were hard to access.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Tuesday that 356 people were rescued from flooding the previous day.

"Our latest information has Hurricane Irma having peak impact in the city of Atlanta from midday on Monday through the evening", he said.

The tidal surge sent damaged boats rushing more than three blocks onto downtown streets in St. Marys, just north of the Georgia-Florida state line, St. Marys Police Lt. Shannon Brock said. A storm surge warning was discontinued from Flagler and Volusia counties south to Jupiter inlet, but a flash flood warning remains in effect for downtown Jacksonville.

Irma hit the United States soon after Hurricane Harvey, which plowed into Houston late last month, killing about 60 and causing some $180 billion in damage, largely through flooding. As Mexico braced for Hurricane Katia, which followed a different path to Irma and Jose, the South-Eastern coast of Mexico was hit by a much greater menace, an 8.1 magnitude natural disaster that left 61 people dead, half of the fatalities were in Juchitan.

This is the first time two Category 4 landfalls occurred in the continental United States in the same hurricane season.

Are you affected by Irma?