South Florida starts to feel effects of Hurricane Irma

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As anxious Florida residents watched weather forecasts this week, it seemed clear Hurricane Irma was on track to strike Miami, Fort Lauderdale and other Atlantic coast cities, prompting a massive evacuation.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St.

Irma left a million residents of Puerto Rico without power, has killed at least two dozen in the Caribbean and has stranded some in the U.S. Virgin Islands - People reports American tourists Kerman Haynes and Andrew Burruss, on a dream vacation when Irma obliterated Tortola, have been sharing desperate messages on Facebook. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 35 miles (55 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 140 miles (220 km).

A tired Gov. Rick Scott, who has flown across the state during the past five days sounding the alarm bell ahead of landfall, acknowledged that it won't be easy for residents in the days ahead.

Hurricanes are cyclonic, with winds moving counterclockwise in the Northern Hemisphere.

Trump said the US Coast Guard had been heroic and that the Federal Emergency Management Agency was doing a good job to help coordinate the response with states. No injuries were reported.

As morning broke, he couldn't open the electric shutters to see outside. "The surge is yet to be finished".

The White House says Trump has spoken with the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

Hurricane conditions are likely within the hurricane warning area on Saturday. It doesn't mean it doesn't exist.

"We could still see flooding that is similar to Matthew or worse", Jones said. "It is by far and away the largest in the history of our company".

The county administrator, Roman Gastesi, said crews would begin house-to-house searches Monday morning to check on survivors.

The threat of another direct hit to Barbuda had been so dire that any of the 1,800 residents who hadn't already fled before Irma were evacuated by a flotilla of ferries sent Friday from Antigua, the other major island in the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Police in Miami-Dade County said they had made 29 arrests for looting and burglary.

"Small boats floating down the street next to furniture and refrigerators". "Shingles are coming off". State and local officials have warned for days that the entire state of Florida is likely to be impacted.

High winds snapped power lines and left nearly 6.5 million homes and businesses without power in Florida, Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama, state officials and utilities said.

While the NASA-NOAA GOES East and GOES-16 satellites provide visible light images of the hurricane from above, Suomi NPP captures infrared views using its Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) instrument.

But Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez is warning that's still enough to cause not just unsafe flooding but drowning - especially since South Florida may well experience the equivalent of Category 1 or 2 hurricane winds when Irma arrives early Sunday.