Cleanup begins as Irma moves out of Florida

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Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the storm left "devastation" in the Keys, which were under mandatory evacuation orders throughout the storm.

Irma is now a Category 4 storm, the second-highest designation.

Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm early today as it marched up the U.S. state of Florida's northwestern coast, with its eye located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of the vulnerable Tampa area.

"We know that we are ground zero for Hurricane Irma", Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said at a Sunday morning news conference.

The storm is expected to further weaken as it moves through Columbus and then northwest through Alabama and into Tennessee.

The storm is one of the most powerful ever seen in the Atlantic and has already killed two dozen people in the Caribbean and pummelled Cuba with 11m waves on Sunday.

Lastly, there is a FLASH FLOOD WATCH in effect for many of our counties until Monday evening.

Tropical storm warnings were are in effect for the Lowcountry of SC.

Irma sucks water out of Tampa waterways
Stay far away from downed power lines and anything that may be in contact with a downed power line. Storm surge is expected to be a concern in those and other central and southern coastal areas.

Hurricane Irma keeps SC on edge
Virgin Islands, three deaths were reported in Puerto Rico, five deaths were reported in Florida and one death was reported in SC . North Carolina transportation officials are working with their counterparts in Georgia and SC to coordinate evacuation traffic.

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While high winds downed a construction crane in Miami, flooding remains the deadliest threat.

"The conditions will be ripe for tornadoes", says News19 Hurricane Expert Jim Gandy.

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, according to a statement from Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley. The rain will likely become more widespread and heavier moving into the afternoon and evening hours.

Some 6.5 million people, about a third of the state's population, had been ordered to evacuate southern Florida. So power outages are still possible in SC.

"Due to its recent more inland push, Irma's center is now forecast to remain over Florida and then move over the southeastern United States for the duration of its existence", the weather service said, predicting it would become a tropical depression over MS by Tuesday afternoon and dissipate over adding that it should dissipate over Tennessee on Wednesday.

I'm sure there is something else we could have done.

Jim Gandy, Meteorologist Efren Afante, and Meteorologist Daniel Bonds are all tracking the storm, and will have regular updates online, on our Facebook page, and on TV.


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