Irma downgraded to tropical storm, death toll rises

The storm also caused destruction when it swept across Georgia and SC on Monday. At least 17 storm-related deaths have already been reported on the U.S. mainland, according to local officials: Florida has reported 12 deaths, Alberto C. Moscoso, a spokesman for Florida Division of Emergency Management, said Tuesday evening.Georgia had three deaths.


“Our goal is don’t put any more lives at risk”, he said, adding that the current major threat is flooding in the northern part of the state. The storm, which was moving into southern Georgia, was packing maximum sustained winds of 60 miles (97 km) per hour, according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center’s latest update at 2 p.m. EDT (1800 GMT).

While some coastal communities breathed a sigh of relief, people in Jacksonville faced flash flooding on Monday. It gradually weakened to a tropical storm and then a tropical depression on Monday.

To recover restoration costs, FPL files with state regulators and, if approved, adds a storm surcharge on the monthly bills of its almost 5 million customers.

Jacksonville grappled with a record storm surge on Monday, prompting the Coast Guard to deploy boats to rescue residents.

If the water hadn’t pushed out, Shiveley said, storm surge could have been in the eight or nine-foot range.

As Florida struggles to resupply gas stations drained by Hurricane Irma evacuees, a growing number of stations in Georgia and SC are running out of fuel as the storm moves north.

Irma, which was downgraded to a tropical storm early on Monday, had ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes. “We will work on those at first light”.

The full extent of the damage is still unknown.

Several of the Orlando, Florida, theme parks that are popular with tourists around the world have plans to reopen now that Hurricane Irma has moved out of the state. Recovery in the Keys would be a “long road”, he said.

Hollywood is between Fort Lauderdale and Miami. Although downtown Fort Lauderdale was spared major damage, trees were uprooted throughout the area. At least 34 people were killed in the Caribbean as the storm closed in on the US mainland.

A man was found dead in Winter Garden, Florida, after being electrocuted by a downed power line, local police said.

Flint Energies is reporting 15,236 members still affected by outages at noon Tuesday. They said it could take weeks to fully restore service.

Some 166,000 people in Georgia, including more than 17,000 in the city of Savannah, lost power as the outer bands of the storm lashed the state. The outages range from the coast to far inland cities such as Charlotte and Asheville in North Carolina and Greenville in SC.


The state’s gas supplies were severely disrupted before and during the storm as ports were closed, cutting Florida off from waterborne deliveries the state relies on. However, some passengers were forced to spend the night at the airport.

Floodwater from Hurricane Irma surrounds a mobile home in Bonita Springs Florida Sunday