Photos from the Keys and other parts of the state
- Author: Leroy Wright Sep 13, 2017,
Sep 13, 2017, 16:13
Authorities say some parts of the Florida Keys may be inaccessible for weeks.
"This is going to be a frustrating event", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, told a news conference. It flooded streets and coasts, swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, cast boats ashore, snapped power lines and toppled construction cranes.
The storm has slowly weakened as it traveled up the Florida coast, and was officially downgraded on Monday morning to a tropical storm.
One of the most powerful hurricanes ever to make US landfall has left millions of people across Florida without power.
A waterfront house suffered roof damage from the hurricane. "Despite the complex forecast track, this general solution is shared by all the reliable model guidance", said hurricane forecasters, according to the Orlando Sentinel. The National Hurricane Center is monitoring another hurricane, Jose, which is spinning in the Caribbean, now about 700 miles (1,130 km) from the mainland.
The fate of the Florida Keys, where Irma rumbled through with Category 4 muscle, remains largely a question mark.
Residents in area that had yet to see the worst either evacuated the area or prepared to shelter in place - including animals in Tampa's Busch Gardens.
"Right now, we are anxious about lives, not cost", Trump said after returning from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland where he monitored the storm and met with his Cabinet.
Irma's top sustained winds are 35 miles per hour, and it is moving northwest at 15 miles per hour.
Irma destroyed about one-third of the buildings on the Dutch-ruled portion of the eastern Caribbean island of St Martin en route to Florida, the Dutch Red Cross said on Tuesday.
At 6pm GMT, its centre had moved into southern Georgia, the National Hurricane Center said.
"For those people who left, they don't know when they're getting back in", she said. Millions of Floridians were under evacuation orders as Irma neared.
No timetable for reopening the rest of the Keys was given.
Irma devastated several Caribbean islands en route to Florida.
The string of islands was the first part of the state hit by the storm, and were still without water, power or cell service Monday.
"Each one of us has a cot, a single foot apart", Beyersdorf said on Monday afternoon.
Media reports link at least four deaths to the storm in Florida.