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Irma brings major flooding to Charleston, leaves 6 dead in Florida

Irma brings major flooding to Charleston, leaves 6 dead in Florida

Irma brings major flooding to Charleston, leaves 6 dead in Florida

Watch5 dead, 3.5M without power as Irma nears vulnerable Tampa Bay

A flash-flood warning is in effect in Charleston, South Carolina, this afternoon as Irma, which was this morning downgraded to a tropical storm, batters the South with torrential rain and dangerous storm surges.

The storm has killed 37 people in the Caribbean and at least six people in Florida, and it’s left nearly 6 million Florida customers without power.

The latest

As of 2:15 p.m., Irma was about 55 miles east of Tallahassee, Florida, moving north-northwest at 17 mph with sustained winds of 60 mph.

A tornado watch across parts of the Georgia and South Carolina coast, including Savannah and Charleston, has been extended into this evening.

Irma could also bring 50 to 60 mph wind gusts and flooding to Atlanta tonight.

PHOTO: A Charleston, S.C. resident puts plastic up over his apartment door as a car rests in floodwaters near East Bay Street in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 10, 2017.
Mic Smith/AP
A Charleston, S.C. resident puts plastic up over his apartment door as a car rests in floodwaters near East Bay Street in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 10, 2017.more +

This morning, water raced through the streets of Jacksonville, Florida, where a record storm surge was reported, exceeding the previous record set by Hurricane Dora in 1964.

PHOTO: Street flooding is prevalent on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by in Jacksonville, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017.
Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP
Street flooding is prevalent on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by in Jacksonville, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017. more +
PHOTO: Urban Flood Water Rescue Team 2, with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, makes its way along San Marco Boulevard on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by, Sept. 11, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla.
Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP
Urban Flood Water Rescue Team 2, with the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department, makes its way along San Marco Boulevard on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by, Sept. 11, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. more +

Tallahassee appears to have been spared from injuries, major damage or flooding, the emergency management director for Leon County told ABC News this morning. The major issue there are power outages from trees that fell over power lines.

In Florida Keys ‘anxiety is running high’

In the Florida Keys, which remain cut off from the mainland, there’s high anxiety and little fuel, electricity or running water, officials said.

Irma first made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 130 mph winds and a storm surge of 10 feet. It was the first Category 4 landfall in Florida since 2004.

The Keys were under mandatory evacuation orders as Irma neared, but not everyone left.

Monroe County officials said in a statement this morning that it’s not yet safe to return to the Keys.”The wind may have stopped blowing, but for most of the Florida Keys, there is no fuel, electricity, running water, or cell service. For many people, supplies are running low and anxiety is running high,” the statement said.

“Once the roads are cleared, and the bridges are inspected for use, aid and relief can start to move as it is flown in,” the statement said. “There are many resources staged, and ready to move into the Florida Keys to help, as soon as possible.”

Storm pummels Miami and Naples

PHOTO: A fallen tree lies atop a row of cars on Sept. 10, 2017 Miami, in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Michele Eve Sandberg/AFP/Getty Images
A fallen tree lies atop a row of cars on Sept. 10, 2017 Miami, in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

After Irma left the Keys Sunday morning, it moved north, passing over Naples, which recorded a 142 mph wind gust. The city also saw nearly 12 inches of rain and a 7-foot storm surge. Farther north, wind gusts reached 94 mph in Lakeland and up to 90 mph in the Tampa Bay area.

In Miami, which saw winds up to 99 mph, resident Joe Kiener told ABC News he’s endured multiple hurricanes in the Caribbean but said he had never experienced a storm as brutal as Irma.

PHOTO: A car sits abandoned in storm surge waters along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard as Hurricane Irma hits the southern part of the state Sept. 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
A car sits abandoned in storm surge waters along North Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard as Hurricane Irma hits the southern part of the state Sept. 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.more +
PHOTO: A street is flooded as Hurricane Irma passes through Naples, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.
David Goldman/AP
A street is flooded as Hurricane Irma passes through Naples, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.

“I’ve been in Miami Beach for two years, which is prone to flooding, but this completely out of the norm,” Kiener said.

PHOTO: A vehicle passes downed palm trees and two cyclists attempt to ride as Hurricane Irma passes through the area on Sept. 10, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla.
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
A vehicle passes downed palm trees and two cyclists attempt to ride as Hurricane Irma passes through the area on Sept. 10, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla.more +

Kiener boarded up his house and is staying at a high-rise hotel in Miami. He said he had to move down to the lobby after his hotel room’s windows took a beating from the strong winds.

“The windows started cracking, and these are massive-impact windows. They were exposed 12 hours of continuous heavy winds. At one point in time, one of them started splintering and that’s when I lost my nerve and said, ‘I’m leaving,'” he said. “It psychs you out — it’s just the endless hallowing and pounding of the wind.”

PHOTO: A gas station sign lies along Biscayne Boulevard after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Sept. 10, 2017.
Erik S. Lesser/EPA
A gas station sign lies along Biscayne Boulevard after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Sept. 10, 2017.

Fatalities in Florida

At least six people, including a sheriff’s deputy, died of storm-related injuries in Florida as the massive hurricane barreled across the Sunshine State.

Two people were killed in Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys. One person was found dead in a home in Shark Key. Another man was killed after he lost control of a truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at tropical-storm strength, officials said.

Two others, a sheriff’s deputy and a corrections officer, died from a two-car crash in the rain in Hardee County, which is about 60 miles inland from Sarasota, officials said.

Another person died from carbon monoxide poisoning from improper use of a generator in Miami-Dade County, the mayor said.

Another fatality was from a car crash in Orange County in central Florida.

At least 37 people died from Irma in the Caribbean, including at least 10 in Cuba.

Millions without power amid widespread evacuations

About 6.5 million Floridians were ordered to evacuate as Irma neared, and some residents of Georgia and South Carolina are under evacuation orders as well.

Some chose to go to shelters, others decided to hunker down at home to ride out the storm.

One Naples resident told ABC News she was turned away from two shelters before she and her 10-year-old son were finally accepted at one.

“We have a dog and there were not that many shelters that accepted dogs,” she said, adding, “We didn’t want to be that far away from our home.” While she and her son stay inside the shelter, her husband is hunkering down with their dog at home.

FEMA said 192,000 people sought shelter in 590 shelters across multiple states.

PHOTO: Evacuees sit inside of the Germain Arena that is serving as a shelter from the approaching Hurricane Irma, Sept. 9, 2017 in Estero, Florida.
Mark Wilson/Getty Images
Evacuees sit inside of the Germain Arena that is serving as a shelter from the approaching Hurricane Irma, Sept. 9, 2017 in Estero, Florida. more +

In Broward County, today 2,000 people remain at shelters of the 14,000 initially sheltered. The mayor said today that residents are urged to stay off roads as crews are in clean-up mode.

As of 6 a.m. today, more than 5.7 million customers were without power in Florida — roughly 58 percent of all customers in the state.

PHOTO: Members of the Pinto family gather on the ground floor of a hotel in Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.
Timothy Fadek / Redux for ABC News
Members of the Pinto family gather on the ground floor of a hotel in Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.

In Miami-Dade, over 80 percent of customers lost power, the mayor said today, and a curfew is in effect until further notice.

Eric Silagy, President and CEO Florida Power and Light, warned today, “People need to be prepared for some prolonged and extended outages.”

As the storm crosses into Georgia, 350,000 customers have lost power in the state.

President Donald Trump approved a “major disaster” declaration in Florida on Sunday, authorizing “federal funding to flow directly to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma and reimburs[ing] local communities and the state government to aid in response and recovery from Hurricane Irma,” state officials said.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said nearly 30 states had deployed personnel and resources to help with the response to Irma.

PHOTO: People tend to a car that flipped over on Cape Coral Parkway during Hurricane Irma, in Cape Coral, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.
Gerald Herbert/AP
People tend to a car that flipped over on Cape Coral Parkway during Hurricane Irma, in Cape Coral, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.more +

ABC News’ Max Golembo, Dan Peck, Jason Volack, Ben Gittleson and Ben Stein contributed to this report.

 

 

 

 

 

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September 11th, 2017

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