Storm hits west coast of Florida

Remigio Civitarese
Settembre 13, 2017

"Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted in some way or another", the FEMA chief said. "This is why we ask people to leave".

In the dark: According to state officials, more than 50,000 customers are without power in Monroe County, Florida, which includes the Keys. "For many people, supplies are running low and anxiety is running high", the county said in a statement. Some accused police of accepting bribes to let other residents in, and they refused to drive to a racetrack a few miles away to register before returning to their homes.

Trees on his property were completely uprooted, concrete wall structures were tumbled and parts of his home's roof were ripped off by the force of Irma, which first made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 140-mph winds and a storm surge of 10 feet.

Florida Power & Light, the state's major electricity provider, says it has almost 20,000 workers deployed around the state. Many places including Miami Beach were just beginning to reopen, and highways leading into the state from Georgia had bumper-to-bumper traffic. After leaving the coast of Cuba, Irma had barrelled through the Florida Keys, a chain of low-lying islands to the south, on Sunday morning. The islands were closed to the public Tuesday while damage is assessed, and several areas remain without water, power or communications, officials said.

The county has about 53,000 housing units, census figures show.

Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers said on Monday that people had been killed in the Keys, which have almost 80,000 permanent residents, but she did not have a count on how many. Nursing homes, shelters, major thoroughfares are priorities.

"It's devastating", Scott said after emerging from a Monday fly-over of the Keys. There has never been such an outage in the state so far. That's about 1.5 million homes and businesses without power, more than half of the homes in the tri-county area.

Clearing roads: Roads are the main concern, Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado said, as thousands of trees are down.

Some Florida residents who are heading back said they have been stopping every chance they could because they're anxious they won't have the chance once they get stuck in traffic heading back into Florida.

A man died in Worth County, Georgia, on Monday while repairing the roof of a shed during sustained winds of 42 miles per hour (67 kph) with gusts up to 70 miles per hour (112 kph), a National Weather Service report said.

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