Monday, September 11, 2017

Nearly 60 Percent of Florida Without Power as #Irma Moves North

At WSJ, "Irma Moves North, Leaves Nearly 60% of Florida Without Power."

Also, "Millions Without Power in Florida After Irma Lashing":

MIAMI — Millions are without power in Florida a day after Hurricane Irma swept through, bringing whipping winds, drenching rains, and coastal flooding to much of the state.

Early reports suggested Florida may have dodged the worst fears of the potential damage that the powerful hurricane could have delivered to the state of 20.6 million people. By early Monday Irma had weakened to a tropical storm as it moved over land on a path toward Georgia, but flooding worries remained in northern cities like Jacksonville.

About 62% of the state was without power—or 6.2 million customers—Monday morning, and cleanup crews were beginning to remove downed trees from roads while law-enforcement authorities escorted utility trucks to get the lights back on.

“Unfortunately we’ve got a lot of damage in our state,” Gov. Rick Scott said, speaking on CBS early Monday.

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning as a Category 4 storm, before hitting Marco Island as it headed north toward Tampa Bay. It was the second Category 4 hurricane of the season to hit the U.S., after Hurricane Harvey hammered the Texas coast last month, flooding Houston and causing at least 50 deaths. Lixion Avila, senior specialist with the National Hurricane Center, said it is extremely rare to have two Category 4 storms hit in one season.

Unlike Harvey, which lingered for days while producing historic rainfall, Irma swept through, climbing up much of Florida’s Gulf Coast in about a day. While there were pre-storm worries that Irma could be the worst natural disaster on record, quick post-storm assessments suggested losses would be far below early fears.

On Monday morning, the remnants of Irma had cleared Miami. The sun emerged from the clouds, and a light breeze blew. Though the storm battered the region, the extent of the damage will become clear only after assessment teams conduct their surveys.

In the Brickell financial district downtown, waters that had risen 3 feet or more Sunday had retreated, leaving the ground caked with mud and crowded with debris. Toppled trees and downed power lines littered neighborhoods...
More at that top link.