Scenes of Hurricane Irma lashing Florida

Scenes of Hurricane Irma lashing Floridaā€¯

A storm surge of up to 4 feet was expected for Tampa Bay - lower than originally forecast - though it could reach 6 feet from Clearwater Beach north. "We want everyone to concentrate on recovering from Irma", Kelly said. "We have for 90 years avoided this day, but I think our day has come".

After Naples, the storm is moving north to Tampa and St. Petersburg area, and then further north to Orlando. Irma was still expected bring winds of up to 60 miles per hour when it impacts South Carolina Monday afternoon.

"I've heard there's some significant damage, right where the eye of the storm hit", Scott told NBC's "Today" show.

Despite dropping to a tropical storm status, Irma is still a unsafe threat.

"Our first concern is with the losses people have suffered", he said. "You've got to be patient".

Coastal communities reported rising flood waters in streets, three Miami construction cranes fell and a sewage pump in Hialeah failed. More than 100,000 customers were without power in Georgia and over 80,000 in SC.

At least 5 deaths in Florida were attributed to Irma, according to ABC News. FPL also closed the two reactors at Turkey Point, shutting one unit on Saturday as Irma approached. Residents fled to shelters, hotels or relatives in safer areas. It hugged the coast as it moved north.

"This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast".

Along the Carolina coast, intense onshore flow will continue today, and storm surge will be a significant problem.

Silagy called the outages "unprecedented" and of a "magnitude we just haven't seen before".

Jones warned that some Floridians "may not have power for a number of days, if not weeks".

Frederick Thornton had a tree fall on his auto on Pierce Avenue while he was on the way to work after 5 a.m.

All MARTA service - bus, rail and mobility - and State Road and Tollway Authority Xpress bus service is suspended on Monday.

Kerry Emanuel, a professor of atmospheric science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said, "The storm was weakened by its passage over Cuba, its eye went through the central Keys, where I'm sure it did a bad amount of damage".

Michael Rivers of North Lauderdale, Fla., said losing power took him from "anxious before and during the storm, to bored and angry after due to the loss of's hot".

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