Heavy squalls with tornadoes from Irma sweep south Florida: NHC

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He said the numbers are early estimates and could change.

On Florida's west coast, meanwhile, resident Charley Ball said he expected a storm surge to completely engulf the affluent island of Sanibel where he lives.

The wide reach of Irma's deadly winds and its size, more than its numerical ranking, has rattled veteran hurricane watchers.

After waiting for hours, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster evacuated seven barriers islands and a beach. In a parting blow to the state, the storm caused record flooding in the Jacksonville area that forced hundreds of rescues. But officials urged patience. So we need to simplify the tax code, reduce taxes very substantially on the middle class, and make our business tax more globally competitive. "Don't think just because this thing passed, you can run home. We've got debris all over the state".

They managed to push his truck through standing water to a parking lot to dry out, but he's anxious about the swamped vehicle.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics said the entire Florida peninsula will be raked by Irma's right front quadrant - the part of a hurricane that usually brings the strongest winds, storm surge, rain and tornadoes.

- Five storm-related deaths have been reported. It will likely dissipate from Tuesday evening, the National Hurricane Center said.

Lower Keys resident Leyla Nedin said Tuesday she doesn't plan to return anytime soon to her home near where Irma first made landfall on Cudjoe Key. 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.

The President earlier posted a link to state information on the locations of shelters, road closures and evacuation routes. So power outages are still possible in SC. About 6.4 million people were told to flee. This represents over 59% of all power company accounts in the state, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said.

More than 170,000 homes and businesses in Florida have already lost power, with Florida Power and Light saying on its website that more than half of those outages were in the Miami-Dade area, where about 600,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

Florida outages for Duke Energy Corp, which serves the northern and central parts of the state, held at around 1.2 million, according to the company's website, and Duke's outages in North and SC eased below a peak of 160,000.

While he didn't call for any evacuations beyond Georgia's coast, Deal expanded a pre-emptive emergency declaration Friday to cover 94 of the state's 159 counties to reflect the various paths Irma could take.

The full extent of the damage is still unknown.

The Keys are linked by 42 bridges that have to be checked for safety before motorists can be allowed on the farther islands, officials said.

- President Donald Trump tweeted that people should heed the advice of Florida's governor Saturday night.

Irma made landfall on the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday, and again over Florida's Marco Island as a Category 3, leaving the island without power and water, authorities said.

Tampa Electric may be forced to shut down some equipment ahead of Irma's expected high winds and potential storm surge.

"They told me there is definitely water in the downstairs apartment, which is me", said Keeney, who works as a concierge at a Hyatt hotel.

Irma turned Jacksonville's Memorial Park into an unrecognizable lake.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area, with a population of about 3 million, has not taken a direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921.

Irma flooded portions of the Battery, the downtown Charleston neighborhood, prompting police to ask residents to avoid the area.

Holmes said that gusty winds will be possible especially in southeast and east Alabama starting on Monday.

The Southeast is bracing for potentially far-flung impacts from Hurricane Irma.

Irma, which killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean, was likely to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous USA state. Jose was described as a "dangerous" Category 4 storm.

He said Irma was risky and life-threatening, and pleaded with people in the storm's path to "heed the warnings" of local officials.

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