Hurricane Irma's Miami landfall and aftermath in photos

Wednesday, 13 Sep, 2017

At least four people have been killed in Florida as Hurricane Irma batters the state, bringing heavy rains and flooding.

It has been hard to get detailed information on the condition of the island chain where Irma first came ashore over the weekend because communication and access were cut off by the storm's arrival as a Category 4 hurricane. On Monday, Cuban state TV announced 10 hurricane related deaths - meaning Irma killed a total of 36 people in the Caribbean before heading to the US.

On top of that, "there's no electricity throughout the Keys".

Corey Smith, who rode out the hurricane in Key Largo, said Tuesday that the power is out on the island, there's very limited gas and supermarkets are closed.

But there was some good news: There are no known fatalities on the Keys, Newman said. FEMA chief Brock Long has said some places won't have electricity for weeks.

Authorities sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to Florida to help with search-and-rescue operations Monday as a flyover of the hurricane-battered Keys yielded what the governor said were scenes of devastation.

Irma was at one point the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, with winds up to 185 miles per hour.

While the numbers in Florida were declining slightly, more outages were being reported in Georgia and other states as Irma, now a tropical storm, moved north.

And southwestern Florida, which is prone to surges, saw the opposite at first: a strange-looking negative surge that sucked the water off the sea floor quickly enough to maroon several manatees. Irma is expected to turn toward Alabama and then into western Tennessee. Now, evacuated Floridians are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic to head home and face monumental cleanups throughout the state.

"Deputy Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol auto collided head-on with Sergeant Ossman's vehicle", a statement on the "Officer Down Memorial Page" said.

So far, preparation and recovery efforts from the storm have cost $249.8 million and Scott said the restoration of order for some communities could take months.

Some 540,000 people were ordered to evacuate days earlier from Savannah and the rest of Georgia's coast.

People who fled Irma in the Keys have been waiting for a chance to see how their homes and businesses fared during the storm.

"We're asking folks to be patient and remain sheltered in place", said St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles.

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.

About 250,000 customers in SC are without power as the winds from Tropical Storm Irma topples trees and power lines.

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.

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

At least four people are believed to have lost their lives as a result of the storm in Florida.

This is the first time two Category 4 landfalls occurred in the continental United States in the same hurricane season.

The city's concave coastline and the shallow water off the beach also made for a bigger storm surge buildup, funneling more water into Jacksonville, said storm surge expert Hal Needham of Galveston, Texas.