Irma, Now A Tropical Storm, Churns Through Florida

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About 6.5 million homes in Florida, two thirds of the total, are without power after Hurricane Irma cut a deadly path through the U.S. state, officials say. Reports say that 10,000 people made a decision to ride out the storm.

"The threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected", the National Hurricane Centre said.

President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration and emergency federal aid for Florida.

In other parts of the state as of Sunday night, like Tampa, residents had yet to see the worst that Irma could offer.

The number of people left without power in Florida increased to 5.8 million overnight as Irma downed trees and flooded streets throughout the entirety of the state, state officials said Monday.

Eric Silagy, the CEO of Florida Power & Light, said Irma caused the most widespread damage in the company's history. "We are trying to do everything that we can to get people safe", he said. "That restoration process will be measured in weeks, not days", said FPL spokesman Rob Gould at a news conference. Georgia Power says at least 1.2 million people in the state are without power.

Hurricane Irma is affecting the House of Representative's work schedule in Washington.

The center of Irma will move near the northwestern coast of Florida this morning, cross the eastern Florida Panhandle into southern Georgia this afternoon, and move through southwestern Georgia and eastern Alabama tonight and Tuesday.

"What we really fear more than anything is that storm surge", Buckhorn told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Sunday.

"Well", he added, "we're about to get punched in the face". The utility, which services much of south Florida, says more than 845,000 of those customers are in Miami-Dade County.

As the deadly Hurricane Irma approached Florida, after ripping through the US Virgin Islands, more than 55,000 people have shown interest in a Facebook event titled "Shoot at Hurricane Irma".

As Irma zeros in on Atlanta, the city faces its first-ever tropical storm warning.

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