At the time, forecasters anxious what would happen once the storm passed Tampa. It is moving north northwest at 18 miles per hour.
In total more than 4.5 million FPL customers were affected by the storm, with over 1.6 million having their service restored already, mostly by automated devices. A drop in water levels came as the northeast winds in the eye wall were blowing then there was a lull as the eye moved in and the backside of the eye wall coincides with that highest water level.
At 5:00 AM ET on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center downgraded Irma to a Category 1 storm, though it continues to batter Northern Florida with heavy rains and sustained wind speeds of 75 miles per hour at its center.
The city of Jacksonville, in Florida’s north-east, was recovering from heavy flooding.
Irma roared ashore as a powerful Category 4 hurricane when it hit the far southern Florida Keys on Sunday, tearing boats from their moorings, uprooting palm trees and downing power lines, after devastating a string of Caribbean islands.
President Donald Trump has approved the state’s request for emergency federal aid to help with temporary housing, home repairs, emergency work and hazard mitigation.
The storm made a second Florida landfall at Marco Island, on Sunday, and tore across the Florida Keys early Sunday morning.
She described the confluence of the storm surge, more than 10 inches of rain and winds from the south pushing water upstream on the river as a “trifecta effect”.
Tropical storm-force winds (39-73 mph) will still be able to cause some damage to trees and power outages in the Southeast, where inland deciduous and pine trees are not as flexible in high winds as most coastal varieties, especially with easterly vectors of wind.
In Florida, the state’s biggest electric company said its outages dipped to 3.3 million from a peak of 3.6 million earlier on Monday. Meantime Sanibel police were restricting traffic across the causeway.
“A few tornadoes are possible across northeast Florida and southeast portions of Georgia and SC through tonight”, the hurricane center said. As for effects in the mainland US, forecasts so far expected only tumultuous surf and rip current conditions on the east coast.
“And while Jose continues to churn in this “loop to nowhere”, Porter doesn’t expect the storm to lose any of its intensity with “plenty of warm water for fuel” with SSTs (sea surface temperatures) over 29C (84 degrees Fahrenheit) for the entire forecast period”, according to The Hurricane Center.
Beyersdorf and Jensen left northern Wisconsin on Friday morning and raced to southern Florida to be in place ahead of Irma’s impact.
This Sept. 11, 2017, photo shows a house damaged in the wake of Hurricane Irma in Saint Johns County, Florida.