Power outages reported across South Florida as Irma approaches

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Irma made a second landfall as a Category 3 storm at Marco Island, a city and barrier island off Florida's southwest coast, on Sunday afternoon.

Irma was at one time the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic with a peak wind speed of 300km/h last week.

As Hurricane Irma finally makes landfall in Florida, South Carolina emergency officials called for potential 60 mile-per-hour winds and dramatic storm surge when Irma eventually passes to the west of the state.

The order is created to help Virginia mitigate any damage caused by the storm and to streamline the process that the Commonwealth uses to provide assistance to other states vulnerable to Irma. "Search and rescue teams are ready to deploy".

Jacksonville, the largest city geographically in the country, is grappling with a record storm surge and vast flooding.

By then, the Category 4 storm will have already abused the Florida Keys for hours.

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. A storm surge watch is north of the Volusia/Brevard County Line to the Flagler/Volusia County Line and north of Chassahowitzka to Suwannee River. "This will cover your house", he said. "You will not survive all of this storm surge".

Hurricane Irma has left a trail of destruction and deaths across the Caribbean and prompted large scale evacuations in American history.

On the forecast track, the core of Irma will continue to move near or over the north coast of Cuba this morning, and will reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The National Weather Service says the flooding has exceeded the previous 1964 flooding caused by Hurricane Dora by at least a foot, as of Monday morning.

Other big power utilities in Florida are units of Emera Inc and Southern Co, which also operates the biggest electric companies in Georgia and Alabama.

Dr. Joel Myers, founder of Accuweather, predicts that Irma will ultimately be "the worst single hurricane to hit Florida since Huricane Andrew in 1992".

Ships, military personnel and equipment have been deployed to respond to Hurricane Irma. She's tracking us, that feisty minx, ' said Chris Cardona, who has fled his mobile home near Miami with his wife Laurie.