Quarter of houses in Florida Keys destroyed

More than half of a large retirement community in Pembroke Pines, Florida, remains without power after Hurricane Irma, leaving senior citizens trapped in apartments without access to elevators.

In Florida, more than 5 million customers were still without power Tuesday.

"It's terrible, what we saw", Scott said. "We've got to make sure it's safe".

Mayor John Tecklenburg said there were no serious injuries and the city would be back to normal Wednesday.

Irma's eye - the strongest part of the system - didn't cross into any Central Florida counties.

FPL said it expects to restore essentially all of its customers in the eastern portion of the state by the weekend and the harder-hit western portion Florida by September 22.

The forecast after that is less certain, with some models suggesting the storm will loop toward the north and northeast and other models having it move west toward the Bahamas. He said the big surge came as expected, just not where a lot of people live.

The lower Keys were particularly hard hit, with first responders Wednesday still searching through wreckage.

Roofs ripped off: CNN's team in Key Largo saw some areas devastated by the storm, with roofs torn off mobile homes in one neighborhood. Boats were scattered across land - a reminder that streets were like rivers for hours.

The family will consider staying with relatives in other parts of the state if power isn't back in a couple of days.

"People that are anxious to get in are sleeping here on the side of the road in their vehicles so they can survey the damage". There's scant electricity, no running water in some areas and limited groceries and gas. There's no stores. There's no electricity. "Most of the Keys are without internet or cell service".

On Sunday, President Donald Trump signed a disaster declaration for Florida to speed the release of federal aid to the state.

No, according to the Hurricane Center's Jamie Rhome, who leads the storm surge unit.

In the light of day, it seems Irma's fingerprints are everywhere in Southwest Florida.

"Everybody's got to be patient as we work through this", Scott said.

Massive power outages are crippling much of the Southeast on Tuesday.

They file into the gated complex, a makeshift home for the next few weeks. South Carolina: Almost 55,000 customers have no power, according to Duke Energy and SCE&G. All three hospitals on the island chain were still closed. "It's going to be devastating to them". An additional 65% suffered major damage.

"Basically every house in the Keys was impacted one way or another", FEMA Director William "Brock" Long said Tuesday at a press conference in Washington.

Roads and 42 bridges between Florida City and Key West were ready for travel Tuesday night after the Florida Department of Transportation completed its assessment of them.

Hurricane Irma weakened as it pummeled Florida - but the storm still packed a powerful punch, spawning torrential downpours, tornadoes and flash floods. The area is under a boil water advisory.

"I know people don't want to hear that". This means that over 30% of Florida's population is now in the dark.

Debris from Hurricane Irma litters the Shake A Leg Marina in Miami on Monday.

- Florida has reported 26 deaths, officials have said.

- SC had four deaths. A 57-year-old man was struck by a falling tree limb during the storm. Georgia had three deaths.

In Lake County, 69-mph gusts were measured at 3:46 a.m.at Leesburg International Airport.

While the Keys have an exhaustive recovery ahead, signs of normalcy will pop up Tuesday elsewhere in Florida. About 110,000 people remained in shelters across Florida.

  • Leroy Wright