More than five million Florida homes and businesses are in the dark this morning after Hurricane Irma knocked out power on its path through the state.
Florida Power and Light says it could take weeks to restore power in some areas. The storm has lost strength as it continues to head north and is now a Category 1 hurricane, but is still flooding streets and is strong enough to cause plenty of damage. There is also the risk of dangerous storm surges on both coasts. The total damage from the powerful storm will begin to be assessed today, starting with the Florida Keys which saw the first landfall as a Category 4. The damage there is expected to be severe.
Overnight, Irma passed over Orlando and Daytona Beach packing 100 mph wind gusts and torrential rain. It is expected to continue north today into Georgia and Alabama. So far there is one confirmed U.S. death. A man was killed in Marathon, Florida when the wind blew his pickup truck into a tree. Irma is responsible for killing at least 28 people in the Caribbean. (Reuters) Authorities in Florida have confirmed five storm-related deaths. (Good Morning America)
- Naples was the one of the hardest hit areas, but the city never experienced the storm surge it expected.
- Disney World and other Orlando-area theme parks took a larger-than-expected hit from the storm, but have not yet assessed the damages.
- Royal Caribbean cruise lines says it is sending two ships to Caribbean islands to help victims of the storm.