Hurricane Irma weakened as it pummeled Florida — but the storm still packed a powerful punch, spawning torrential downpours, tornadoes and flash floods.
First Irma slammed into the Florida Keys on Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, ripping roofs off mobile homes and littering roads with debris. A day later, it had weakened to a tropical storm but still brought dangerous storm surge flooding to Jacksonville. Now a tropical depression, Irma has moved through Georgia and is still expected to bring torrential rainfall as far north as North Carolina on Tuesday.
Here’s a look at some of the destruction Irma left in her wake. Authorities are still surveying damage from the record-breaking storm, and this story will be updated as more details emerge.
The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma at one of the storm’s most powerful points. There are nearly 80,000 residents on the Keys, and about 10,000 rode out the storm, the Pentagon said Monday.
Initial estimates indicate 25% of the houses on the island chain have been destroyed, and 65% have major damage, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Tuesday. “Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted some way,” he said.
Roofs ripped off: CNN’s team in Key Largo saw some areas devastated by the storm, with roofs torn off mobile homes in one neighborhood. In other parts of the Keys, the closure of US 1, a major artery that connects the islands with the mainland, was a major concern.
In the dark: According to state officials, more than 50,000 customers were without power in Monroe County, which includes the Keys. “We have no cell service, no electricity and no water,” Monroe County Commissioner Heather Carruthers said.
Gusts topping 90 mph whipped Miami on Sunday, knocking out power to most of the city’s residents. Streets flooded, and flying objects turned into dangerous projectiles. At least two construction cranes partially collapsed.
Clearing roads: Crews were working to clear roads and restore power Tuesday.
Flights: Miami International Airport has resumed operations on a limited basis, according to airport spokesman Mark Henderson.
Casualties: One person died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of an indoor generator, according to Michael Hernandez with Miami-Dade mayor’s office.
This southwest Florida island was the second place Hurricane Irma made landfall, striking Sunday afternoon as a Category 3 storm.
Storm surge: Large portions of the island were flooded by a 3- to 4-foot storm surge, said Chris Bowden, spokesman for the Marco Island Fire Department.
Downed power lines: There are many power lines down, Bowden said, and the main power pole off the island also went down in the storm. About 2,000 customers are still without power.
Naples was pummeled by Hurricane Irma on September 10 — the same day that Hurricane Donna had devastated the city 57 years ago, according to David Fralick, the city’s communications manager.
Massive cleanup: Mayor Bill Barnett said trees are down and streets are flooded, even though the storm surge wasn’t as bad as officials had feared. “All the beauty (is) kind of got sucked out of the city. … It’s going to be a massive cleanup,” he said.
Widespread power outages: Most of the city doesn’t have power, officials said. And it could be a week until it’s restored, Barnett said.
The Tampa Bay area feared a direct hit from Irma but ended up getting more of a sideways swipe from the weakened storm.
Homes destroyed: About a dozen homes were hit by trees and destroyed in Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, according to an initial assessment by county officials.
Not over yet: Residents near rivers will start to see flooding as the days go on, Hillsborough County Administrator Mike Merrill said.
While some coastal communities breathed a sigh of relief, people in Jacksonville faced flash flooding Monday. The St. Johns River rose to record levels, flooding major roadways. All mandatory evacuation orders had been lifted by Tuesday, the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office said.
Flash flood emergency: The National Weather Service issued a flash flood emergency for parts of downtown.
Rescue mode: Mayor Lenny Curry said Monday his city was in “rescue mode,” with teams working to evacuate people from low-lying areas. Jacksonville Sheriff Mike Williams said Tuesday that 356 people had been rescued the previous day.
Irma left downed trees and power outages. It forced MARTA, the city’s transit service, to halt operations, and Atlanta-based Delta Air Lines to cancel more than 1,100 flights Monday. Both began resuming service Tuesday.
Tropical storm: Irma was downgraded to a tropical depression not long after Atlanta felt its effects. Peak wind gusts of 46 mph hit Atlanta on Monday, CNN affiliate WSB reported.
Deaths: A man was killed in Sandy Springs, an Atlanta suburb, when a tree fell and “literally cut the home in half,” said Sharon Kraun, the city’s communications director. A woman was killed when a downed tree struck her vehicle in Cumming, north of Atlanta.
More than 260 miles to the southeast of Georgia’s capital, the Savannah area felt Irma’s impact, with 30- to 40-mph sustained winds and gusts approaching 50 mph, CNN meteorologist Monica Garrett said.
Storm surge: The surge and tide at Fort Pulaski along the Savannah River brought waters to more than 12 feet, the second-highest on record — just below the surge level last year during Hurricane Matthew.
Flooding: Portions of River Street were flooded in downtown Savannah, and flooding forced police temporarily to shut US 80 leading to the barrier island of Tybee Island.
CHARLESTON, SOUTH CAROLINA
Winds, rain and storm surge slammed the South Carolina coastal city, with gusts up to 50 to 60 mph.
The Battery: Water also filled the Battery, the downtown Charleston neighborhood where the Ashley and Cooper rivers meet. Charleston police asked residents to avoid downtown in anticipation of high tide.
Charleston Harbor: Waters in Charleston Harbor peaked at nearly 10 feet high, the city’s third-highest reading, topping Hurricane Matthew last year, CNN meteorologist Taylor Ward said.