Hurricane Irma leaves Florida 'powerless', moves north

Irma now taking aim at Tampa as Floridians hustle to leave

"As the storm approaches from the south, places like Tampa and Port Charlotte are getting strong winds out of the northeast", CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said of the phenomenon.

The greatly weakened low pressure area will slow down and linger over Tennessee on Tuesday and Wednesday as showers continue moving north into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic.

A tropical storm warning continued Monday morning across Tampa Bay, meaning tropical storm-level winds with gusts up to 75 miles per hour between Apollo Beach and Ruskin.

The storm is also being blamed for the death of a 62-year-old man in rural southwest Georgia.

The eye of Category 3 Hurricane Irma crossed into mainland Florida near Naples on Sunday afternoon after striking the Florida Keys at Category 4 strength on Sunday morning.

"I've been here with other storms, other hurricanes".

On Saturday, Gov. Henry McMaster reported that eight coastal islands had evacuated smoothly after an evacuation order was issued, and transportation officials say traffic congestion on S.C. interstates had dropped, to 15 percent the normal load. "Do continue to stay updated on the weather in your area, and do make sure to have a plan if weather conditions worsen".

Thankfully, Freeman said he and his family were all safe after the storm passed, but "it is still hard".

- More than 17,000 customers have already lost power in Savannah, Georgia.

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Irma weakens into a tropical depression
The system has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour while moving 17 miles per hour north-northwest over Georgia. Jacksonville, the largest city geographically in the country, is grappling with a record storm surge and huge flooding.

Georgia reported more than 570,000 homes and businesses without electricity, and there were 80,000 in SC.

Drone footage has captured the extent of destruction caused by Hurricane Irma, showing scattered debris floating in heavily flooded streets in Naples, Florida.

A tropical storm watch means sustained winds of at least 39 mph are possible within the watch area within the next 48 hours.

Storm surge of more than 10 feet was recorded in the Keys, where furniture and appliances were seen floating away and the ocean filled with hazards including sunken boats, AP said.

Irma hit the Caribbean islands first, grazing Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti before hitting Cuba at full force.

At least 7 million homes and businesses were left without power in the southeastern United States-mostly in Florida, Reuters reported, citing state and local utilities.

Irma was forecast to cross the eastern Florida Panhandle and move into southern Georgia later in the day, dumping as much as 41 cm of rain, government forecasters said. About 155,000 people had taken refuge in 573 shelters across the state.

The governor said it was way too early to put a dollar estimate on the damage.

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