Irma dropped to tropical storm status Monday but is still very much a danger as it rumbles north over the Florida-Georgia line and into the Deep South after lashing most of the Sunshine State. According to the National Hurricane Center, surges cause more U.S. deaths than any other hurricane-related event. While the projected track showed Irma raking the state's Gulf Coast, forecasters warned the entire Florida peninsula - including the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people - was in extreme danger from the monstrous storm, nearly 400 miles wide.
"This is the worst one I've ever seen", Teague said.
As the eye of the Hurricane Irma pummeled the Florida Keys with lashing rains and battering winds, a storm chaser exited his vehicle, stepped into the gale-force wins, and went viral.
Irma could still be at hurricane strength as it crosses into Georgia on Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.
A Key Largo restaurant and bar called Snappers - where Weir had interviewed people on Thursday as the storm was still days away - is now "completely gone", Weir said.
Michael Rivers of North Lauderdale, Fla. said losing power took him from "anxious before and during the storm, to bored and angry after due to the loss of power.it's hot".
According to The New York Times, the storm has already left more than one million households in Florida without power. The Marco island area, we have a lot of concerns about that. At least two construction cranes partially collapsed.
Gusts topping 90 miles per hour whipped Miami on Sunday, knocking out power to most of the city's residents.
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In the dark: Most of the city (72%) is without power, the mayor said.
Jones said the severity of the storm surge depended on which side of the storm Tampa was on.
Duke Energy Florida is also anticipating "significant, widespread power outages" for its 1.8 million customers in Florida.
The Tampa Bay area feared a direct hit from a major hurricane, but ended up getting more of a sideways swipe from a weakened Irma.
This was the first time on record that the continental United States has seen two category 4 hurricanes (Harvey & Irma) make landfall in the same hurricane season.
Flash flood emergency: The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for parts of downtown. "To the public in their homes who are trying to ride out this storm, we urge you to not get on the roads until you have been given clearance by everyone who is required to give clearance".
"Pray, pray for everybody in Florida", Gov. Rick Scott said yesterday as more than 160,000 people statewide waited it out in shelters.