Dogs run in drained Tampa bay after water sucked into Irma

Carla Harmon
September 13, 2017

"No cell service in at least the lower and middle Keys", said Bill South of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

But there was some good news: There are no known fatalities on the Keys, Newman said.

South Carolina Electric & Gas reported more than 13,000 customers without service Monday.

Irma, now a tropical storm with sustained winds of up to 110 kmph, was located about 56 km west of Gainesville and headed up the Gulf Coast, the National Hurricane Centre said at 8 am ET (1200 GMT).

Most of Georgia will experience tropical storm-force winds as the center of Irma lifts north across the state, which is likely to experience downed trees and scattered power outages as far north as Atlanta.

Forecasters expect the storm to bring wind hazards and up to 20 inches of rain in southern and western SC. A high school in Homestead, a city in which 90 percent of its residents were without electricity on Monday, lost its roof.

The storm slammed into the Florida Keys early Sunday, when it was near its greatest strength.

- Miami streets turned into raging rivers, and the city's airport is closed because of significant water damage.

Anxious relatives, generous volunteers and frantic neighbors turned to social media after Hurricane Irma wiped out electricity and cell service to many communities around Florida, cutting off most contact with remote islands in the Keys.

"These are all material things that can be replaced", Freeman said. But there is considerable damage - property damage, flooding from rainfall, and trees and power lines are down.

Statewide, an estimated 13 million people, or two-thirds of Florida's population, remained without power.

A Navy aircraft carrier was due to anchor off Key West to help in search-and-rescue efforts.

"It's the worst storm I've ever seen", said South, the NOAA meteorologist.

Hurricane Irma has battered the Florida Keys, destroying roadways and isolating residents who didn't evacuate the string of islands, prompting one county's emergency management director to call the situation a possible "humanitarian crisis". A tropical storm warning means tropical storm winds are expected within the area within the next 36 hours.

North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties in his state ahead of Irma.

Tropical storm warnings were are in effect for the Lowcountry of SC.

Irma devastated the Caribbean, leaving entire islands uninhabitable and causing at least two dozen deaths, before churning over Cuba and moving up to the continental U.S. The hurricane is one of the most powerful and longest-lasting on record. About 155,000 people had taken refuge in 573 shelters across the state.

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