Irma ravages South Florida

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But don't let that fool you: The National Hurricane Center believes that it will speed back up when it leaves Cuba before it makes landfall on the Florida Keys (expected on Sunday morning).

A spokesperson for Florida Power & Light said that as many as 3 million people could lose power thanks to Irma.

Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

More than 6m people have been ordered to evacuate and over 2.4m homes and businesses were left without power as Hurricane Irma battered Florida's west coast yesterday. "We have plenty of water, plenty of food, plenty of hooch", he said.

In August this year, the United States was hit by Hurrican Harvey - the first major hurricane to make landfall in the U.S. since Wilma in 2005, ending a record 12-year drought in which no hurricanes made landfall at such an intensity in the country.

In a press release, Scott said, "It's clear that the entire country is standing with Florida as Hurricane Irma batters our state right now".

About 30,000 people heeded orders to leave the Keys as the storm closed in, but an untold number refused, in part because to many storm-hardened residents, staying behind in the face of danger is a point of pride.

A second Category 4 storm, Hurricane Jose, gave them little time to regroup as it threatened some of the same islands ravaged by Irma.

"I kept saying, 'Lord, please stop this, and soon, soon, '" said Basch, who was evacuated to Puerto Rico. Officials in Miami-Dade and Broward counties in Florida are ordering evacuations of certain residents in low-lying areas.

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Irma is expected to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous US state, a major tourism hub with an economy comprising about 5 percent of USA gross domestic product.

At that time wind was reported to be gusting between 90 and 100 miles per hour.

Many houses on the island were made of concrete and were "pretty strong - the most damage we'll get is water", Brooks said. This suggests that hurricane force winds are possible offshore during the first half of the day on Monday, with conditions diminishing to tropical storm force by late afternoon.

This is a developing story. Some people in South Florida could be without electricity for weeks.

"I'll make a decision based on how I can be helpful to the state", he said.

Officials feared the worst was yet to come with Jose heading toward the Caribbean, but the storm veered north without causing much damage. "Irma will likely bring periods of heavy rain to much of the Florida Panhandle, Georgia, South Carolina, and western North Carolina early next week, including some mountainous areas which are more prone to flash flooding", the hurricane center reports.

Damaged buildings and fallen trees litter the island of St. Martin, after the passing of Hurricane Irma, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2017.

Miami Beach, on the other hand, has a steep dropoff to its continental shelf, which could limit the storm surge to about eight or nine feet under a Category 4 hurricane.dropoff to its continental shelf, which could limit the storm surge to about eight or nine feet under a Category 4 hurricane.