Irma, meanwhile, was making its way north after making landfall on the southwestern coast of Florida.
A monster Hurricane Irma roared into Florida with 130 miles per hour winds Sunday for what was a sustained assault on almost the entire Sunshine State, submerging streets, knocking out power to millions and snapping massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline.
One Miami reporter noted Irma had turned the city's streets into "rivers".
And there's plenty more to come as the storm climbs the coast toward Tampa. The forecasters predict that this storm will be the worst in the United States history. Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West. The storm also decimated several Caribbean islands, destroying homes, leaving widespread flooding and leaving at least 38 people dead.
As Irma looms, residents worry about what the storm will do to a city that hasn't taken a direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921. "This is a life-threatening situation".
So far, Irma has been blamed for at least seven deaths in Florida, and it has resulted in severe flooding in the north of the state and mass destruction in the southern region. But as the storm neared, some Floridians hunkered down rather than hitting the road.
"We are finding some remains", Carruthers said on CNN. Then she headed inland to a friend's house. We've got to make sure it's safe.
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Tampa Bay is particularly vulnerable because the bay acts as a funnel for storm surges, forcing water into narrow channels with nowhere else to go.
The airport for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has re-opened Tuesday morning after closing as Hurricane Irma pounded the state. No injuries were reported.
Currently, more than 3 million customers are without power across Florida, according to utility companies. The storm center was trudging north at 14 miles per hour into the area between Tampa and Orlando.
Flying objects such as coconuts turned into unsafe projectiles. Another dangled over the city's Edgewater neighborhood.
"There is no seawall whatsoever", Spuler said. "It's wonderful. It's underwater".
In Miami, one of two dozen construction cranes looming over the skyline collapsed atop a high-rise in Irma's 100mph winds.
"Everything is flooded", he said.
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Have you been following coverage of the storm?
"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.
"Well", he added, "we're about to get punched in the face".
Irma's center was about 105 miles (170 km) north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm. Trump said that he has been in communication with federal agencies and state governors now on the front lines of the storm.
"For the most part, they've left, but that's a bad path to be in".
Christian relief groups are mobilizing to help in recovery efforts with Irma, much like they did with Hurricane Harvey and the damage it caused in Texas.
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Do you know anyone in Orlando who has been affected by this?