Riding out Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida

Riding out Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida

"This is why we ask people to leave".

The storm, which was in Florida near the Georgia border, was packing maximum sustained winds of 65 miles (100 km) per hour, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said at 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT).

"Our goal is don't put any more lives at risk", he said, adding that the current major threat is flooding in the northern part of the state.

This southwest Florida city was the second place Hurricane Irma made landfall, striking Sunday afternoon as a Category 3 storm.

At its peak the storm prompted evacuation orders for 6.5mn people in Florida, the largest evacuation in modern U.S. history. Traffic flowed easily on normally jammed Atlanta highways. He urged people to be careful and safe. Nonetheless, barrier islands like Marco Island, near Naples, reported rising flood water and a loss of electricity and drinking water, authorities said.

The county has about 53,000 housing units, census figures show.

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Only 7 percent of people from the south end of the Seven Mile Bridge to Key West now have power, according to Keys Energy Services. Monroe County is home to 79,000 people, the vast majority of whom live on the archipelago. "You can't hook up each house until the homeowner makes sure that it's safe", he said. On the right is what the VIIRS instrument saw around 3 a.m. Tuesday morning, September 12. And Tampa Electric still had to reconnect 300,000 of its 750,000 accounts on Tuesday. The outages included about 662,000 customers in Miami-Dade County, Florida's most populous. Locations without power have been flagged to the state to help utilities prioritize their work, the group said in a statement. "We hope they took that warning", Bossert said.

Georgia Power's CEO said it may take some time before electricity is back to customers. "This storm and the resulting damage is an unprecedented outage event, and EMC representatives warn that in some cases outages will extend through the weekend".

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. "And now that season for the events and weddings, now it's been highly jeopardized", Crockett said.

Florida Governor Rick Scott said: "So many areas that you would never have thought have flooded, have flooded".

Sunday evening, the two men ventured out to survey the destruction. His businesses, on the bay side, fared better.

Crews planned to go from house to house in the Keys in search for residents who need help.