Hurricane Irma hits Florida, at least three dead and over a million without power
ABC News(KEY WEST, Fla.) — Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning as powerful winds and rain pummeled the state, leaving at least three people dead and over 1 million households and businesses without power.
The area is “getting pounded,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on This Week. “They’re going to have 130 mph winds. They’re going to have 10 to 25 inches of rain.”
He added that residents may get 15 feet of storm surge.
Irma brought wind gusts of 93 mph near Key Largo and 89 mph to Key West. In Miami, winds whipped around high-rise buildings at speeds approaching 100 mph, the National Weather Service said.
As of 10 a.m., the storm’s eye was moving away from the Florida Keys while, to the north on Florida’s west coast, the city of Naples braced for the dangerous eye wall to move over its area later in the day.
Wind gusts of 75 mph were recorded at the Naples Airport early Sunday, and officials were warning people to stay indoors and away from windows.
The Miami-Dade Police tweeted that its officers are sheltered for their safety and cannot respond to calls for service.
Similarly, the sheriff of Hillsborough County, which is north of Naples and encompasses Tampa on Florida’s west coast, warned that the department will eventually have to suspend its services.
The National Weather Service also warned Florida residents that being in the eye of a hurricane can lead to a false sense of security.
IF winds go calm, you’re in the eye. Stay inside! Winds dramatically shift and will do so violently! STAY INSIDE!
— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) September 10, 2017
As Florida braces for the worst of the powerful Category 4 storm’s impact, at least three deaths were reported in the state.
A man in Monroe County, which encompasses Key West, was killed after he lost control of a truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at tropical-storm strength, local officials said.
Two other people died in a car crash in the rain in Hardee County, Florida, which is about 60 miles inland from Sarasota, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
The death toll from the hurricane in the Caribbean, meanwhile, has risen to 22, bringing the total number in Irma’s path who have died to at least 25.
As the monster storm neared, approximately 6.3 million Floridians were under evacuation orders. When evacuation orders in South Carolina and Georgia are included, the number climbs to 6.8 million.
More than 100,000 people are in shelters, while others are hunkered down in their homes bracing for the storm’s impact. By around 8:30 a.m., at least 782,000 households and businesses were without power. In Miami-Dade County alone, more than 456,000 had lost power.
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