Why the Water Retreated From Florida Bays Before Irma's Storm Surge Arrived

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The military was helping in relief operations, with the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier arriving off Florida late Sunday to help in the southern part of the state and along the Florida Keys. "What's going to happen now?"

City officials said it would have taken about two weeks to have moved the cranes out of harm's way.

He added that millions of residents and businesses have lost power, and it could be days before officials can provide food and water to those struggling in the aftermath of the powerful storm.

President Raul Castro called on Cubans on Monday to unite in swiftly rebuilding the Caribbean nation in the wake of Hurricane Irma, which killed at least 10 people during a devastating three-day rampage along the length of the island.

Several major airports in Florida that halted passenger operations due to Irma will begin limited service on Tuesday, including Miami International, one of the nation's busiest airports.

Some 6.5 million people, about one-third of Florida's population, had been ordered from their homes ahead of Irma's arrival, and more than 200,000 people sought refuge in about 700 shelters, according to state data.

Two deaths occurred in Florida due to vehicle accidents. "She's tracking us, that feisty minx", Cardona, 54, said by phone.

While the projected track showed Irma raking the state's Gulf Coast, forecasters warned that the entire Florida peninsula - including the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people - was in extreme danger from the monstrous storm, nearly 400 miles wide.

It grazed the state's east coast over the weekend.

An estimated 70,000 Floridians huddled in shelters as Irma closed in on the Keys, where the storm's center was expected to swirl over land Sunday morning.

- As many as 5.7 million customers are without power across Florida, according to Gov. Rick Scott's office.

"It's the worst storm I've ever seen", said Bill South of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

"Fuel deliveries in Florida are virtually nonexistent", Mansfield Oil, a Georgia-based energy supplier, said in a report.

"It quickly became clear that it was in the best interest of our players, coaches and fans to reschedule next week's Miami at Florida State game".

Irma swept across islands including St Martin, Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the British and US Virgin Islands, causing more than $10bn (£7.6bn) in damage. "I just don't know".

Even before the extent of its potential devastation was clear, the storm made a huge swath of the peninsula's bottom half unrecognisable. He also described downed power lines and other debris.

Authorities said 5,000 houses flooded, while 8,000 families were declared disaster victims after their homes were severely damaged or destroyed. But by the time Irma arrived in the middle of the night Monday, its winds were down to 100 miles per hour (161 kph) or less.

Insured property losses in Florida from Irma are expected to run from $20 billion to $40 billion, catastrophe modelling firm AIR Worldwide estimated.

And more than 120 homes were being evacuated early Monday in Orange County, just outside the city of Orlando, as floodwaters started to pour in. The national electric company announced that high winds were forcing it to cut power to Havana, and the Ministry of Communications said it was shutting down all public wi-fi receivers in the capital.

A few miles away, a huge sinkhole opened at the edge of an apartment building, swallowing air conditioning units and bushes.

"It's been so long since the Tampa region has had a storm that some people perhaps have no memory of what it's like to be through one of these".