Hurricane Irma that pummelled Florida all through Sunday and early Monday has claimed at least five lives, plunged almost six million homes in darkness and remained a major risk for flash floods despite weakening to a tropical storm.
Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. Irma was also the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Cuba since the 1924 hurricane. That would have put the hurricane over the east coast of Florida.
The storm has moved past Florida and is heading toward Georgia and Alabama but peek says his job is still not complete.
The Florida Keys felt Irma's full force.
"Just left the island and said goodbye to everything I own", he said.
"Since much of Florida's gasoline delivery occurs via barge, all eyes will remain on port conditions as the storm passes", said Jeanette Casselano, a spokesperson for AAA, adding that power outages, impassable roads and debris are hindering efforts to refuel Florida stations. It will weaken slowly in the coming hours and will likely become a tropical depression on Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. Outside Charleston, waterspouts raged in from the churning seas as water gushed through the city.
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Irma had earlier made landfall about 9 a.m.at Cudjoe Key -- less than 30 miles northeast of Key West -- with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
Trump has spoken regularly to Florida Governor Rick Scott and U.S. Senator Marco Rubio, both Republicans, and spoke on Sunday with U.S. Senator Ben Nelson, a Democrat, the White House said.
Late Sunday, as the storm moved up Florida's west coast, officials said 28,000 people had taken refuge in 45 county shelters in Hillsborough County, which includes Tampa.
Others made a decision to stay because they thought the storm would pass on the eastern side of the state.
However, the state's largest utility, FPL, said on Tuesday that would restore power to eastern Florida by this weekend, and to western Florida by Sept 22.
-- All public schools, state colleges and state universities and state government offices have been ordered closed on Monday.
The hurricane, which killed at least 25 people as it tore through the Caribbean islands last week, has already claimed at least one life in Florida. Sea World and Busch Gardens Tampa Bay said Monday that they are assessing damage and would announce their reopening plans later.
Irma at one time was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 miles per hour (300 kph).