Weakening, Irma still delivers 130 miles per hour coast-to-coast pummeling of Florida

Frederick Owens
September 12, 2017

Dark clouds are seen over Miami's skyline before the arrival of Hurricane Irma to south Florida September 10, 2017. At this point Hurricane Irma was a Category 4 storm, and its powerful winds were making it almost impossible for paramedics and fire crews to respond to the dozens of calls they were receiving.

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday morning with top sustained winds of 130 miles per hour (215 kph).

As of Sunday night, 112,759 customers for Tampa Electric had lost power, the utility said on its website.

An apparent tornado spun off by Hurricane Irma has destroyed six mobile homes in Florida.

"We don't anticipate this will be a highly localized event", Hawkins said.

Irma's winds snapped power lines and left some 6 million Florida homes and businesses without power, according to state data, as reported by Reuters.

More than 200,000 had electricity restored, mostly by automated devices. "So you just have to think about, you know, you've got to get as high ground as you can and, and, and just pray", Scott said. "That restoration process will be measured in weeks, not days". Cities as far inland as Atlanta are under a tropical storm watch Monday and Tuesday.

Florida outages for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, increased to nearly 1.2 million, according to the company's website.

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The company updated its website yesterday evening with a warning to customers that outages may last a week or longer.

The challenges in the immediate aftermath of the storm will be many: Restoring across the state, removing debris from roads, dealing with possible fuel shortages, and making sure nursing home and hospital patients who were evacuated can safely return.

Irma brought 90 mile per hour wind gusts to Miami, and enough rain to flood some of the area's roadways.

About 17,000 were assisting FPL, almost 8,000 at Duke and more than 1,300 at Emera.

“Irma is expected to make landfall as an extremely risky hurricane, bringing life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the center, ” NHC forecasters say.

FEMA said they had almost 10 million liters of water, more than 5 million meals, 13,000 cots and 41,000 blankets ready to be deployed where needed.

Forecasters are predicting Tampa Bay as the new striking point for the storm instead of Miami.

The hurricane is expected to make a slow, ruinous march up the state's west coast, hitting the heavily populated Tampa-St. Some 200,000 were housed in shelters during the storm, federal officials said.

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