Irma weakens to tropical storm

Irma weakens to tropical storm

Irma weakens to tropical storm

Louis Freeman, a Miami-based radiologist, said he returned home after working for 48 hours straight during Hurricane Irma to find his property in turmoil. The storm headed north on Monday towards Gainesville and Tallahassee, taking risky wind gusts with it, ABC News reported.

The storm is also being blamed for the death of a 62-year-old man in rural southwest Georgia. Officials cautioned residents to remain off the roads and not return to their homes until evacuation orders are lifted.

After gathering strength over the warm water between Cuba and Florida on Saturday night, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the U.S. mainland shortly after sunrise on the Florida Keys - the small chain of islands off the southern tip of Florida.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for some barrier islands.

This is a developing story stay with for updates.

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Police blocked the entrance to the Florida Keys on Monday morning, according to the Miami Herald, to conduct rescue operations.

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma at one of the storm's most powerful points.

Hurricane Irma has been the latest storm to wreak havoc on citizens of the United States and overseas, pounding the states of Florida with winds of incredible velocity and near-constant rain.

This is a rare phenomenon called reverse storm surge.

Affected states include Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, South Carolina and North Carolina. A storm surge warning and a tropical storm warning are in effect from near Georgetown into Florida.

Irma now tropical storm, but still lashing FL, GA
Intense rainfall rates are leading to flash flooding and rapid rises on creeks, streams, and rivers, according to the hurricane center.

Georgia is bracing for potentially far-flung impacts from Hurricane Irma, which forecasters say could swamp the coast with storm surge near Savannah and topple trees and power lines in Atlanta.

North Charleston Fire Chief Greg Bulanow said emergency vehicles would cease to operate with winds of 40 miles per hour or stronger, but he does not expect that to happen.

The warnings pertained mostly to communities along the St. Johns River, where storm surges were expected to push water four to six feet above normal high-tide levels.

On Sunday afternoon, Florida Power and Light reported that almost 75 percent of customers were without power in Miami-Dade County. There are more than 160,000 in shelters statewide.

It cut a devastating track across 10 Caribbean countries and territories, killing at least 28 people there. "In some cases the bridge structures may not be safe to cross over", Long said on MSNBC.

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Nathan Deal expanded a state of emergency declaration to cover all 159 counties in the state as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida.

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