Florida Gov. Scott Will Fly Over Florida Keys to Assess Irma Damage

A collapsed construction crane is seen in downtown Miami as Hurricane Irma moved through south Florida.   
  Credit    Carlos Barria  Reuters

A collapsed construction crane is seen in downtown Miami as Hurricane Irma moved through south Florida. Credit Carlos Barria Reuters

"We've got debris all over the state".

The Florida Keys had been cut off from the mainland for days after Irma made landfall on the low-lying islands Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 130 miles per hour winds and a storm surge of 10 feet.

- Five storm-related deaths have been reported.

In one Jacksonville yard, Irma snapped a tree near its roots, sending it crashing onto the vehicle of an evacuee from South Florida.

A man died in Worth County, Georgia, on Monday while repairing the roof of a shed during sustained winds of 42 miles per hour (67 kph) with gusts up to 70 miles per hour (112 kph), a National Weather Service report said. Another man was killed in Sandy Springs, an Atlanta suburb, when a tree fell and "literally cut the home in half", said Sharon Kraun, the city's communications director.

The governor says the road closures are spread across seven counties.

- Massive power outages remain throughout the Southeast.

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That surcharge was capped at around $4 per month for the average residential customer, according to NextEra's 2016 annual report. A total of nearly 4.5 million Florida Power & Light customers have been affected by the storm, with about 1 million getting service restored, mostly by automated devices. Some 900,000 customers lost power in Georgia. Duke Energy reported the biggest problems with 100,000 customers without service.

Carnival Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean have canceled and revised several sailings as a result of the storm and have offered credits and waivers on trips where passengers are unable to travel.

It has been hard to get detailed information on the condition of the island chain where Irma first came ashore over the weekend because communication and access were cut off by the storm's arrival as a Category 4 hurricane.

The full extent of the damage is not yet known, and the authorities have hesitated to estimate the cost of a cleanup.

It was worse than last year's Category 5 Matthew, which sat just off shore, because Irma grew to an huge 415 miles (670 kilometers) wide, Luettich said.

"We've got to get our first responders to the Keys, we've got to get the water going again, we've got to get the power going again".

Although access to the Keys is closed to the public, Monroe County will reopen access points to residents and business owners in Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada early Tuesday.

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Some reports say that 10,000 people made a decision to ride out the storm in The Keys.

"How are we going to survive from here?" asked Gwen Bush, who waded through thigh-deep floodwaters outside her central Florida home to reach National Guard rescuers and get a ride to a shelter.

In a parting shot, it triggered severe flooding around Jacksonville in the state's northeastern corner. The city also saw almost 12 inches of rain and a 7-foot storm surge. The city's Memorial Park has turned into an unrecognizable lake.

Many streets were flooded in downtown Miami and other cities.

"It's been an extremely stressful day between all of the wind, tornado warnings, power outages and flooding downtown", she said.

While Hurricane Irma, of Category 5, lashed out at the state, the police helped the evacuated woman, taking her to the Baptist Hospital in Kendall. "We really were lucky last night", he said. It was the first Category 4 landfall in Florida since 2004. And because hurricane winds spin counterclockwise and lined up perfectly perpendicular to Jacksonville's St. John's River, "it just pushed the water from the Atlantic right into the river", National Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said.

Are you affected by Irma?

Jose weakens, turns eastward as Category 1 hurricane
As of Monday morning, almost 60 percent of the entire state - close to 6 million customers - had lost electricity. Irma has been blamed for three deaths in Florida , one in Georgia, and at least 36 in the Caribbean.

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