Hurricane Irma Live Updates: Florida Battered, Heading Towards Georgia (Video) | Nigeria Newspaper- Nigeria News| Naija News


Hurricane Irma Live Updates: Florida Battered, Heading Towards Georgia (Video)


Hurricane Irma Live Updates: Florida Battered, Heading Towards Georgia
Monday’s live updates on Irma.

After tearing through the Florida Keys and making landfall along the state’s southwest coast, Hurricane Irma crawled up the middle of Florida late Sunday night, slowly spinning toward the Tampa region.

After days of frantic preparations, residents in Tampa were bracing for Irma’s arrival early Monday, weaker than expected but still packing wind gusts of about 100 miles per hour. The storm, which was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, continued to lose strength as it pushed inland, but its reach extended from South Florida to Jacksonville. It was expected to remain a hurricane through at least Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

The counterclockwise rotation of Irma’s wind pushed water out of the Tampa Bay throughout Sunday. But after the center of the storm passes Tampa early Monday morning, the direction of the winds will reverse and push water back into the bay, adding to the flooding, said Andrew McKaughan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Tampa.

Hurricane Irma’s push into Central Florida shoved heavy rain and strong winds into parts of Florida not initially expecting to feel the brunt of the storm. Winds were reaching 60 miles per hour along the coast near Jacksonville and expected to intensify as Irma’s center slogged north.

Already crippling more than 3.3 million customers across the state, power failures sprawled by the hour. There was no television to keep many residents updated, with only the remaining battery on their cellphones keeping them in touch with the world.

“Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face,” Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa said at a news conference earlier in the day, paraphrasing Mike Tyson. “Well, we’re about to get punched in the face.”

Here’s the latest:

• Irma has dropped more than a foot of rain in several parts of South Florida so far this weekend. As of 10 p.m. Sunday, Fort Pierce, north of Palm Beach on Florida’s east coast, had received the most rain in the state, 15.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service. The second most rainfall was in the Everglades National Park, which got about 13.6 inches.

• Naples and Marco Island, where Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida’s Gulf Coast on Sunday, registered the strongest winds in the state during the storm. They topped out at 142 miles per hour in Naples and reached 130 miles per hour in Marco Island, according to the National Weather Service.

• Florida officials have ordered more than 6.5 million residents to leave their homes. Several counties, including Miami-Dade, Collier and Lee, enacted curfews until Monday morning. Collier County also issued a boil-water warning until officials could assess damages to the water system.

• About 540,000 people were told to leave the Georgia coast, and Gov. Nathan Deal declared a state of emergency for all counties. Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency.

• At least four deaths were reported in Florida after the storm’s arrival on Sunday. At least 27 people have been confirmed dead in parts of the Caribbean affected by Irma. The hurricane made landfall in Cuba on Friday evening.

• Separately, Hurricane Jose continued to weaken, getting downgraded to a Category 3 storm, the center said.
Retreating water alarms observers.

Suddenly, the water went away. In the Bahamas, in Tampa Bay and in Naples, observers were shocked to see the waters that usually lap against the shore recede into the distance.

On social media, people reacted with incredulity, noting that the water had disappeared where whitecaps were just hours before on Sunday in Tampa Bay. James Spann, an Alabama meteorologist and weather blogger, reacted sternly to a photograph on Twitter of people playing in the sand exposed by the retreating water.

“The water will come rushing back with a vengeance,” Mr. Spann said on Twitter. “They won’t have time to get out when it begins.”

On Twitter, Gov. Rick Scott issued an urgent warning to stay away from the water. “DO NOT GO IN. The water will surge back & could overtake you.”

Chris O’Donnell, a reporter with The Tampa Bay Times, later reported that the police had cleared people off of the shore well before the water came back.

The phenomenon of water being drawn off by the power of Hurricane Irma is known as a negative surge. As Mr. Spann warned, that odd condition will not last — and will become dangerous. Michael R. Lowry, a scientist with the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research, a nonprofit education consortium, explained in a series of tweets that staying away from the water in this storm is important because the hurricane is sending a dangerous surge ashore: 10 to 15 feet, for instance, in Naples, Fla.

And as the National Hurricane Center explained, the water will come rushing back to Naples after the eye passes. On Twitter, the center warned: “MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”

Storm Pushes North, but Millions Are Without Power in Florida

After days of frantic preparation for a storm that devastated the Caribbean, Floridians awoke Monday to destruction that fell short of the direst forecasts. Still, residents faced life-altering damage and displacement that would prevent a return to normal life for some time.

Even as Irma was downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, millions remained without power, while the police and the National Guard carried out search-and-rescue operations across the state. Many areas faced fuel shortages, as well as downed power lines and standing water. Fallen trees, ripped from their roots by surging waters and whipping winds that reached 130 miles per hour, blocked roadways — further hampering the recovery.

“We have got to make sure people understand it is still dangerous,” Gov. Rick Scott said in a television news interview Monday morning. “Everybody has got to be patient as we work through this.”

The center of the storm moved into southern Georgia on Monday afternoon, and its effects were also being felt in Alabama and the Carolinas.

And for Floridians displaced from their homes, the task of putting life back together was made harder by having to do so in heat and darkness, without light or air conditioning. Many were exhausted after a weekend spent zigzagging across the state to avoid the storm’s ever-changing path.

Irma pushes north and is causing problems in Charleston, S.C.

The National Weather Service declared a flash flood emergency in Charleston, S.C., on Monday and advised against travel, saying that parts of the peninsula would be closed down. The Post and Courier, a Charleston newspaper, reported that the flooding was the result of a concurrent hit by the storm and high tide, and predicted “a major saltwater inundation in downtown Charleston and coastal communities.”

As in other states, electricity was also a problem in Georgia. As of 2:30 pm, more than 923,000 customers were without power across the state of Georgia, according to a release from the Georgia Emergency Management and Homeland Security Agency.

Harsh conditions would begin to subside in the late evening, said Keith Stellman, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service. The service had recorded wind gusts exceeding 60 miles per hour in Atlanta, and that much of Georgia’s coastline was also experiencing storm-surge flooding.

A tornado watch for southern South Carolina and coastal Georgia was in effect until 10 p.m. Monday, with hail and winds of up to 70 miles per hour predicted to follow.

The forecast in Alabama was somewhat milder, though a tropical storm warning was in effect for much of the state’s eastern half. Alabama Emergency Management Agency officials warned residents that wind gusts of 40 to 45 miles per hour could bring down trees and power lines.
Watch the video below:


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