Flooding, outages remain after Irma
- Author: Leroy Wright Sep 14, 2017,
Sep 14, 2017, 6:13
The Florida Keys were the hardest-hit area on the US mainland.In addition to rescue operations there, National Guard troops are also working to clear roads and runways in order to allow deliveries of life-saving supplies to the island chain where authorities have only allowed people to access the northernmost areas.
"Irma has officially passed and this is what she left", said Michala Laufle, who rode out Irma in the Keys. Branches and other brush blocked some roads. "We have been busy just trying to get information out there to the people, to put them in the proper places to try to save their lives", he said. "I mean, who wants to go through this?" Though Irma's center merely crossed the Georgia's southeast corner after churning northward from Florida, tropical storm-force winds spread more than 400 miles (644 kilometers) across and touched almost the entire state.
By Monday, Irma was downgraded to a tropical storm as it made its way up Florida toward Georgia, allowing state officials and residents to get a first glimpse of its destructive path even as the nation continues to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Texas.
The majority of the damage was downed trees which took out power to hundreds of thousands of people.
At its peak the storm prompted evacuation orders for 6.5mn people in Florida, the largest evacuation in modern USA history.
"There's devastation. I just hope everybody survived", Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Monday after flying over the area. All three hospitals on the island chain were still closed.
Hands folded and brown eyes hollow, Mario Valentine sat on his faux-leather couch, staring at the cracked white panels and shredded pink insulation that, before the storm, had been the front wall of his mobile home. A navy aircraft carrier was due to anchor off Key West to help in the search-and-rescue effort.
"The Keys are going to take awhile", he said. County officials said crews are working to reopen the major United States 1 route as quickly as possible.
Irma is causing record-setting flooding in Jacksonville, Florida.
A woman died when a tree fell on a vehicle in a private driveway, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office said on its website.
Indian-Americans in Atlanta and Georgia pooled in their resources to help several million people from Florida affected by Irma.