Hurricane Irma Shatters Florida

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By the time Irma hit the mainland it had weakened to a Category 2 hurricane which, while still destructive, was far less powerful than the storm that wreaked havoc across the Caribbean last week. That was enough power to knock down cell towers, damage roofs and uproot trees.

First lady Melania Trump thanked first responders in the areas affected by Hurricane Irma on Sunday as the Category 4 storm moves onto the US mainland. Just about a few hours ago, Hurricane Jose was moving at the speed of 16 miles per hour in a northwest direction and packed winds of 120 mph.

The almost 400-mile-wide storm made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 am ET, the NHC said.

Irma, which killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean, was likely to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous USA state.

"We're not saying get in your vehicle and go", Merrill said.

Duke's retired Crystal River plant, about 90 miles north of Tampa, has spent nuclear fuel, but Hannah said that was not a problem.

"Well", he added, "we're about to get punched in the face". The hashtag "Recover813" is being utilized on social media to help officials see the scale of damage caused by the storm.

Cooper said during a Saturday morning press conference that all regions of the state can expect to feel the effects of Irma. About two thirds of the state were left without power, according to officials.

Miami's economy is fuelled by the development of luxury high-rises.

Updated projections over the weekend put Tampa, Florida, squarely in Irma's path. Mayor Bob Buckhorn told CNBC the city was "staring into the abyss".

On Sunday, President Donald Trump approved a major disaster declaration for Florida, which means the state will receive federal assistance once the storm is over.

Josh Einiger was in downtown Naples, Florida:Six million people are now in a mandatory evacuation across the State of Florida because of the direction change that Irma has taken.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Miami International Airport were closed on Monday.