Published: Wed, September 13, 2017
Sport | By Wendy Sparks

Why Irma wasn't as catastrophic in Florida as feared

Why Irma wasn't as catastrophic in Florida as feared

The U.S. aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln has arrived off Florida's east coast and two amphibious assault ships will arrive on Tuesday to help in the Keys, where Irma first made landfall on Sunday as a Category 4 hurricane. In fact, it's the pre-telephone era for most of us.

As of 5 a.m., Irma was located about 35 miles east/southeast of Cedar Key and was moving north/northwest at 18 mph.

According to the Sun Sentinel, as of Monday morning there were over 815,000 outages in Miami-Dade (80% of homes), almost 644,000 outages reported in Broward (68% of homes), and over 523,000 outages in Palm Beach (70% of homes). Another man was killed after he lost control of a truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at tropical-storm strength, officials said.

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson says a city employee, Arthur Strudwick, died after a single-vehicle crash during storms Monday night.

Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record before it arrived in the United States, killed 43 people in its rampage through the Caribbean and at least 11 in Florida, Georgia and SC.

SCE&G says convoys of workers were headed to SC from Alabama, Illinois, New York and Texas, while the co-ops expected help from Arkansas, North Carolina and Virginia.

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Irma is plowing into Georgia and toward other parts of the Deep South - Alabama, Tennessee and the Carolinas.

While southwest Florida bore the deadly brunt of Irma's wrath Sunday, the coastlines of Miami and the neighboring island of Miami Beach were heavily inundated by storm surges as hurricane winds sent two giant construction cranes crashing down.

No deaths in Florida were immediately linked to the storm. Never drive over downed lines.

- Two people died in Georgia: A 62-year-old man who was on his roof was killed in Worth County, which experienced wind gusts of 69 miles per hour, according to Kannetha Clem, a spokeswoman for the Worth County Sheriff's Office. Fifty-seven-year-old Charles Saxon was killed Monday afternoon by a tree limb while clearing debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls.

Brad Whitworth of Texas is riding the storm out in Tavernier, Florida, just south of Key Largo. A woman was killed when a downed tree struck her vehicle in Cumming, north of Atlanta, as the auto at in a private driveway, the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office.

- More than 1.4 million customers in Georgia were without power, according to Georgia Power and Georgia EMC. Duke Energy reported the biggest problems with 100,000 customers without service.

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It was worse than last year's Category 5 Matthew, which sat just off shore, because Irma grew to an huge 415 miles (670 kilometers) wide, Luettich said.

That's because some islands are extremely hard to access.

The state Department of Transportation's online traffic site reported stop and go traffic for 90 miles on Interstate 95 from north of the Interstate 26 exit to the Georgia state line.

The low-lying barrier islands would be inundated if Irma's storm surge reaches forecast heights of as high as 15 feet (4.6 meters). The city's Memorial Park has turned into an unrecognizable lake.

Before slamming into the United States, Irma hit Cuba late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane.

Speaking at a ceremony at the Pentagon to mark the 16th anniversary of the September 11th terrorist attacks, president Donald Trump pledged the full resources of the federal government to help those affected by the recent flooding.

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"It took a week for Matthew", Jensen said, referring to a hurricane that previous year did not make landfall in Florida but caused power outages.

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