AR Storm Chaser Follows Eye of Irma

Waves crash over a seawall from Biscayne Bay as Hurricane Irma passes by Sunday Sept. 10 2017 in Miami.
        The Associated Press

Waves crash over a seawall from Biscayne Bay as Hurricane Irma passes by Sunday Sept. 10 2017 in Miami. The Associated Press

Hurricane Irma officially made US landfall at 9:10 a.m.at Cudjoe Key.

Aid rushed in to hurricane-scarred Florida early Tuesday, residents began to dig out, and officials slowly pieced together the scope of Irma's vicious path of destruction across the peninsula. Almost five million Floridians are without power, according to Florida Power & Light officials. Areas to the east of the eye of the storm were hit the hardest.

The system has maximum sustained winds of 50 miles per hour while moving 17 miles per hour north-northwest over Georgia. The causeway between the mainland at Fort Myers and the Sanibel-Captiva islands, which was closed because of the hurricane, was reopened at midday Monday, the Lee County Department of Transportation said.

Ahead of the storm, officials in Florida had ordered a total of 6.3 million people, or about a third of the state's population, to evacuate.

Irma's rampage across Florida broke records in Jacksonville before heading north to torment Georgia and beyond.

President Donald Trump has signed a disaster declaration that should speed federal funding to damaged areas in Florida. The storm was weakening, but still potent, as it traveled northward through Georgia and SC.

At 03:00 GMT, the centre of the hurricane was about 80km south-east of the city of Tampa.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St. The region has not been hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

Irma's center was about 105 miles (170 km) north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm.

The hurricane center has discontinued all storm surge and tropical storm warnings.

How did it arrive in Florida?

By now you've probably seen some of the damage Hurricane Irma has brought to Florida and the southeast United States.

A 55-year-old man was killed on Monday afternoon after a tree fell on his house.

Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to Tropical Storm Irma, but that doesn't mean it didn't do plenty of damage while at the height of its power.

Two cranes have collapsed in high winds in the city. Nonetheless, barrier islands like Marco Island, near Naples, reported rising flood water and a loss of electricity and drinking water, authorities said. Floodwaters continue to rise in the cities after heavy rainfall.

The state has five shelters open for people coming from outside the state to get out of Irma's way.

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