Hurricane Irma climbs Florida coast, unsafe storm surges feared

Hurricane Irma climbs Florida coast, unsafe storm surges feared

Hurricane Irma climbs Florida coast, unsafe storm surges feared

Jones said the severity of the storm surge depended on which side of the storm Tampa was on.

Hurricane Irma, because of its size, is causing some massive storm surges along both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts.

"This is a particularly risky situation", a National Weather Service alert warned. The city saw an extra five feet of water. Move to higher ground now. He said Irma was unsafe and life-threatening.

Millions of Florida residents were without power Tuesday as the remnants of the storm spun northwest into the U.S. mainland, drenching the region and causing rivers to overflow. About 5,000 of the Keys' 30,000 permanent residents stayed to ride out the storm, Florida Keys spokesman Andy Newman said.

- Strong winds and flash flooding are still a threat as Irma spins into north Florida and toward Georgia over the next 24 hours.

"Additional weakening is forecast, and Irma is... likely to dissipate by Wednesday evening", the NHC said.

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Gov. Rick Scott, who spent the days before the storm hit beseeching the islands' residents to evacuate, said Monday that he is flying down to the Keys to survey the damage. President Trump approved it.

By 5 p.m., the storm was hitting Fort Myers, moving north toward low-lying, vulnerable Tampa as a still-potent Category 2 storm.

As Irma weakened into a tropical storm and finally left Florida on Monday after a run up the entire 400-mile length of the state, the full scale of its destruction was still unknown, in part because of cut-off communications and blocked roads.

Expected to be even more unsafe than the powerful winds are the storm surges that threaten Florida's coastal cities.

And the relief effort from Hurricane Irma -- now a tropical storm -- was just beginning.

Claudia Russell, 47, enjoys an empty beach in Miami.

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Tornado watches disappeared for central and eastern portions of Florida.

Hurricane Irma continues to wreak havoc over Florida.

Irma's eye is expected to strike the Florida Keys, southwest Florida and the Tampa area, according to the National Hurricane Center.

He advised people to keep hurricane readiness supplies from Irma handy as it is still unclear what will become of Hurricane Jose, which is expected to complete a loop in the Atlantic Ocean and has potential to affect the East Coast next week.

"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.

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