Irma Makes Landfall, Lashes at Southern Florida

A car rides in the shoulder to pass other cars in evacuation traffic on I-75 near Brooksville on Saturday

A car rides in the shoulder to pass other cars in evacuation traffic on I-75 near Brooksville on Saturday

The storm crashed into Cuba late on Friday, with sustained winds of more than 157 miles per hour (253 km per hour). Communication and access were cut and authorities dangled only vague assessments of ruinous impact.

"As little as six inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can knock you down", tweeted the state's governor Rick Scott.

Panama said it was distributing at least 90 tonnes of humanitarian aid to Saint Martin and Cuba, while Venezuela - itself beset by shortages amid a crippling economic crisis - sent 30 tonnes of food, drinking water and supplies to Cuba and other Caribbean islands.

A stunning 13 million Florida residents were without electricity - two-thirds of the state's residents - as sweltering tropical heat returned across the peninsula following the storm. In a parting blow to the state before pushing on to Georgia and beyond, the storm caused record flooding in and around Jacksonville, causing untold damage and prompting dozens of rescues.

Six deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, along with three in Georgia and one in SC. The coast's almost 540,000 residents fled last October ahead of Hurricane Matthew, which caused an estimated $500 million in damage and killed three people.

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The forecast in Alabama was somewhat milder, though a tropical storm warning was in effect for much of the state's eastern half. "I just hope everybody survived".

Scott said it was way too early to put a dollar estimate on the damage. Capsized power lines, surging waters, fallen trees and blocked roadways greeted them. And the governor said damage on the southwest coast, including in Naples and Fort Myers, was not as bad as feared.

"They told me there is definitely water in the downstairs apartment, which is me", said Ms. Keeney, who works as a concierge at the Hyatt hotel in Key West. "I know for our entire state, especially the Keys, it's going to be a long road".

He said the Navy dispatched the USS Iwo Jima, USS New York and the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to help with relief efforts. Her building manager told her there was flooding there, but further updates were hard to come by because power and cell phone service have been down on the island.

"HELP IS ON THE WAY", they promised on Facebook. "But just if you looked at the bigger weather map and saw the counterclockwise rotation of Irma, juxtaposed with a clockwise high-pressure rotation over the Atlantic, Charleston was like in the pincer of those two motions that has driven wind and hurricane bands nearly directly into our city".

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In the Jacksonville area, close to the Georgia line, storm surge brought some of the worst flooding ever seen there, with at least 46 people pulled from swamped homes. "A t-shirt, anything white", the office said on its Facebook page.

Further inland in Lowndes County near the Georgia-Florida line, firefighters rescued occupants of a few homes struck by falling trees, said county spokeswoman Paige Dukes.

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.

As of Monday morning, 6.2 million customers were without power in Florida, according to the state's Department of Emergency Management.

Early Tuesday, the remnants of Irma were blowing through Alabama and MS after drenching Georgia.

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Meanwhile, keep in mind that climate change was happening thousands of years before man made a single carbon footprint on Earth. Just look at what Miss Texas , otherwise known as Margana Wood , had to say about Charlottesville during last night's event.

Warnings of storm surges remained in place in several areas of south and central Florida, including the heavily populated Tampa Bay region. Petersburg area had braced for the first direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921.

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