Sunday, 24 June, 2018

Florida approves disaster declaration for Florida Irma hits

Strong Wind Rain Lash Fort Pierce Florida Strong Wind Rain Lash Fort Pierce Florida
Melinda Barton | 12 September, 2017, 13:54

Outages increased steadily into Sunday morning, with 281,860 Florida Power & Light customers in the region in the dark as of 4 a.m. - 184,050 in Miami-Dade, 73,400 in Broward and 24,410 in West Palm Beach.

Along with the high winds, the storm could produce quick spin-up tornadoes and a possible 5-7 feet of storm surge across Tampa Bay - and perhaps up to 9 feet in some areas. Storm surge warnings were in place for Tampa Bay, from the South Santee River in SC to the Flagler/Volusia County line on the Atlantic Coast and from Cape Sable northward to the Ochlockonee River on the Gulf of Mexico.

"Hurricane Irma downgraded to tropical storm, continues to weaken as the center moves along the northwestern coast of the Florida peninsula", the state Division of Emergency Management posted on its website early Monday.

Tampa is another major city that comes in the path way of Irma.

Sustained winds of 130mph were reported when the storm first made landfall in the Florida Keys on Sunday, but by Monday had dropped to around 85mph. The eye of the storm did not hit the city but it did wallop the Florida Keys, of course, and that is where the concern is now.

Irma made history by making landfall in the Florida Keys as a category four hurricane - the first time in recorded history that two category four hurricanes have hit the USA back-to-back.

The city appeared to avoid a direct hit from the hurricane, which has claimed three lives in the United States so far, but heavy rain and flooding is still a major threat. "You will not survive all of this storm surge". About 4 million people now live in the low-lying area. During the night, at least 160,000people slept in shelters throughout the state. That means getting out of the house and around town might not be safe until - gulp - Monday.

'All of America continues, I must say, to pray for the families affected by Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, which looks like it's going to be a really bad one, but we're prepared, ' Trump said.

If an evacuation order comes down for your area, do you know where to go and what zone you're inside? "It's bigger than our state". Rainfall could total anywhere from 3 to 5 inches according to the National Weather Service.

Watches and warnings are now beginning to extend to North Florida.