Irma Leaves Widespread Devastation, Flooding In Florida

Hurricane Irma skimming Cuba as 155-mph hurricane, coastal Palm Beach County outside forecast cone

Editor's note: This is a developing story that is being constantly updated as the storm progresses.

Once Irma makes landfall, the storm is expected to decrease in intensity after it makes contact with the southwest Florida coast, and then weaken as it moves north over the western Florida coast and into the panhandle.

With the arrival of what is potentially one of the most devastating storms to ever hit Florida, officials have set aside 3.2 million liters (0.85 million gallons) of water, filled 67 trailers with meals, and amassed 24,000 tarps.

Some Florida utilities, including FPL, warned customers it could take weeks to restore power in the hardest hit areas because infrastructure systems in some of those places will need to be rebuilt.

While Irma has already been downgraded to a tropical depression, it wreaked havoc throughout the Caribbean and Florida just a few days ago and will be remembered as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes.

Irma will move near the northwestern coast of the Florida peninsula this morning, cross the eastern Florida panhandle into southern Georgia this afternoon, and move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday.

The massive storm triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people, and made two landfalls Sunday.

- In Miami-Dade County, police said they arrested 28 people for burglary and looting.

Irma was the strongest Atlantic storm to ever exist outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico with 185 miles per hour sustained winds. "These winds are coming".

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Bryan Koon, Florida's emergency management director, said late Sunday that authorities had only scattered information about damage, but feared worse reports could come in Monday. Brock said no injuries had been reported.

The company expects extensive damage due to high winds and fallen trees, and they are advising customers to prepare for extended power outages.

Parts of the city of Miami are under water as Hurricane Irma heads for mainland Florida, triggering storm surges across the south of the state.

Flying objects such as coconuts turned into risky projectiles.

Earlier a crane collapsed onto a building under construction in high winds.

"Everything is flooded", he said.

In Florida and southern Georgia, more than 8 million people face hurricane-force winds topping 74 miles per hour, said Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics.

The city of Savannah, on Georgia's coast, was evacuated for the second time in less than a year because of the storm, and the National Weather Service in Peachtree City confirmed that Atlanta - more than 250 miles (400 kilometers) inland from either the Atlantic or Gulf coasts - was under a tropical storm warning for the first time. 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. Schools in much of the state planned to close Monday. For more than three days of that total, it was a Category 5 - tying it with Cuba's deadly 1932 storm and setting a record for the satellite era, Klotzbach says.

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