Hurricane Irma, now a Category 3 storm, slowly turns to Florida

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 Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

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The White House said Monday it will take "weeks" to fully restore electricity to Florida following Hurricane Irma, which left more than half of Floridians without power, according to some estimates. Lewis says six people died in auto crashes, four while engaged in storm preparations, one was electrocuted by a downed power line, and another had a cardiac issue.

Customers on the west coast of Florida, where Hurricane Irma made its final landfall, will likely have power restored by September 22, the company has said.

What awaits residents in the Middle and Upper Keys is unclear, but there are signs that Irma, which made its first United States landfall on Cudjoe Key, about 20 miles east of Key West, was anything but merciful to the Conch Republic. "It's going to impact my home town of Naples, Florida, all of the west coast", Florida Governor Rick Scott told Fox News. I just hope everybody has evacuated and gotten to safety.

Across Florida, elderly and sick people were stranded in hospitals and nursing homes facing power outages or sporadic power, the New York Times reported.

"People who bag your groceries when you're on vacation - the bus drivers, hotel cleaners, cooks and dishwashers - they're already living beyond paycheck to paycheck", said Stephanie Kaple, who runs an organization that helps the homeless in the Keys. "This is a deadly storm, and our state has never seen anything like it".

At least four temples in Atlanta region have opened up their doors for people fleeing from Florida, residents of a large parts of which have been asked by the State government to evacuate.

Irma hit Cuba's Ciego de Avila province late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane before it weakened.

The Nielsen company said Tuesday that its ratings information from this past weekend is delayed because the company's processing center in Tampa, Florida, was shut down because of Irma.

More importantly, the system slowed, delaying its turn north and steering its centre over Florida's the west coast, which is less populated and less densely developed than the east.

- A storm surge warning wraps around the state, from Brevard County to Tampa Bay. Trump plans to visit Florida on Thursday.

As Hurricane Irma scooted up Florida's west coast into Sunday evening, forecasters fear that this storm will go down as one of the worst in the state's history.

National Weather Service meteorologist Stephen Shiveley said if water from the bay had not receded, storm surge in the city would have been much higher. About 390,000 people live in the nation of islands.

The storm engulfed almost all of Florida, from the state's southernmost point up to the Georgia line, from the Atlantic coast to the Gulf side.

Even with Irma's weakening, the tropical depression is still expected to bring heavy rainfall across a widespread area, as it flooded parts of coastal Georgia and SC, including Savannah and Charleston, on Monday. Another 65% suffered major damage.

Irma is being blamed for 14 deaths in Florida, Georgia and SC.

What's with all these hurricane forecast models?

Irma was the largest hurricane ever recorded while it was still in the open Atlantic, with winds peaking at 185 miles per hour. Polk County was the closest to Central Florida that Irma's center came, Combs said.

Miami began feeling some of Irma's winds Saturday, with high-rise construction cranes sent spinning in circles. South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for some barrier islands, while Georgia Gov. Nathan Deal expanded the state of emergency to include 94 counties. North Carolina: More than 62,000 customers, according to Duke Energy South Carolina: 161,000 customers, according to Duke Energy and SCE&G.

A scrap yard full of vehicles is seen covered by floodwater in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Callahan, Fla. The Weather Prediction Center warned Tuesday of possible flash flooding and heavy rainfall in parts of North and SC.

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