Aircraft carrier is rushed to the hurricane-battered Keys

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Some 540,000 people were ordered to evacuate days earlier from Savannah and the rest of Georgia's coast.

In places like Tampa and Port Charlotte, as the storm approaches from the south, strong winds blowing from the northeast have pushed water out of shallow parts of bays and harbors, according to CNN meteorologist Judson Jones. He wrote on Facebook, "Horrible scenes of complete devastation in the Lower Florida Keys just east of Key West including Summerland, Cudjoe, and Big Pine Keys".

States are obligated in most cases to pay a "match" for federal disaster aid, generally about 10 percent of the amount the federal government is paying in the immediate aftermath.

About 11,000 utility workers from across the country will be heading to Florida to assist in recovery efforts as well.

A piece of a McDonald's "golden arch" sign hung in a tree near the fast-food restaurant in the central Florida city of Kissimmee on Monday morning.

On Sunday when the hurricane made landfall in Marco Island and Naples, wind speeds of over 200 kilometers an hour were recorded. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died.

Much of eastern Alabama and coastal South Carolina are under tropical storm warnings as Irma pummels Florida, weakening on its march northward.

A Key Largo restaurant and bar called Snappers - where Weir had interviewed people on Thursday as the storm was still days away - is now "completely gone", Weir said. Look at this. This is just incredible.

"We have also taken steps in relation to St Maarten, which is a French and Dutch territory".

(Photo: REUTERS/Carlos Barria) A truck is seen turned over as Hurricane Irma passes south Florida, in Miami, U.S. September 10, 2017.

It plans to leave both reactors in service at the St. Lucie plant about 120 miles (193 km ) north of Miami because hurricane-force winds are no longer expected to hit the sites.

They were warned that services on the islands were limited: most areas were still without power and water, mobile phone signals were patchy and most petrol stations were still closed.

Hillsborough River in downtown Tampa. "If the eye of the storm tracks to the west of the bays, the storm surge will be worse".

"It's such a rarity along the west coast of Florida", he said.

Until the remnants of Irma arrive, we'll see skies change from mostly sunny today to partly cloudy on Tuesday.

It swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, flooded streets, cast boats ashore, snapped miles of power lines and toppled construction cranes.

"Deputy Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol car collided head-on with Sergeant Ossman's vehicle", a statement on the 'Officer Down Memorial Page' said. Scott has called up and sent out 7,000 National Guardsmen across the state, some of whom have been dispatched to the more than 400 shelters that have been set up. "And here we are". President Trump is slated to visit Florida on Thursday.

The county administrator, Roman Gastesi, said crews would begin house-to-house searches Monday morning to check on survivors. Almost three months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November. "I wanted to go from the start but he's stubborn as hell".

No deaths in Florida were immediately linked to the storm.