Hurricane Irma spins up tornado in Florida

Hurricane Irma spins up tornado in Florida

Hurricane Irma's current forecast track is not looking good for Florida.

A total of 5.6 million people, or 25 percent of the state's population, were ordered to evacuate Florida, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

Irma was forecast to bring risky storm surges of up to 10 feet (three meters) to parts of Cuba's northern coast and the central and northwestern Bahamas.

Uncertainty still is on the high side as of Saturday morning about exactly where Irma will come inland. As of 11 a.m. ET, Irma packed 65 miles per hour winds and was moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour.

While Irma won't be almost as strong as it will be over Florida, Alabama still could get a taste of it, especially southeastern Alabama according to the National Weather Service.

- Irma continued weakening Monday afternoon as it moved into southern Georgia, the National Hurricane Center said.

"As a mother, you just need everybody to be with you just so you can have that peace of seeing each and every person, and just trying to be the mom and the dad and the mimi and the pop that are hopefully going to be able to protect everyone as best we can", my mom said. Schools in the state planned to close Monday.

It gradually weakened to a Category 3 storm as it bumped along the island's northern coastline, flooding streets and sending waves crashing over sea walls.

By the time Irma finished with Marco Island, she left 15 homes that have either lost their roofs or suffered other severe damage, the fire department said. Irma is expected to hit Key West sometime around sunrise. "We have to wait till all the elements pass through", he said. After the storm our first instinct is to go outside, we want some fresh air.

Eastern parts of Alabama could get a few inches of rain from Irma.

A tired Gov. Rick Scott, who has flown across the state during the past five days sounding the alarm bell ahead of landfall, acknowledged that it won't be easy for residents in the days ahead.

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                                                            |By Scott DiSavino
Image Zoom |By Scott DiSavino

And a woman died when a tree fell on a vehicle in a private driveway, according to the website of the Forsyth County Sheriff's Office. One even suggested using a flame-thrower to teach Irma a lesson.

Irma was classified as a Category 3 hurricane, but forecasters expect it to strengthen as it barrels toward the area.

Some 116,000 people have taken refuge in shelters as the Category 2 hurricane flooded Miami streets and plunged three million properties into darkness.

Trump owns a resort in Palm Beach, Florida, where he has often traveled during his presidency, as well as three golf courses in the state.

If Irma's center were to stay over the Gulf of Mexico it could increase the potential for damaging winds across eastern parts of the state as Irma moves into Georgia.

Downgraded to a tropical storm early on Monday, Irma had ranked as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes recorded.

AUSTIN - Texas is still in full recovery mode from the historic flooding and damage brought on by Hurricane Harvey, but that isn't stopping the Lone Star State from readying teams to send to Florida to help with the response to Hurricane Irma.

A tropical storm watch has been issued for the southeast corner of the state, including the Dothan area. It begins at 6:00 pm Sunday local time.

Charles Saxon, 57, became South Carolina's first recorded death when he was struck by a tree limb while clearing debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls amid wind gusts of about 40 miles per hour, according to a statement from Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley.

The condition of the main thoroughfare through the Keys is of particular concern as Big Pine Key sits between mile markers 29 and 36, making it impossible to know the extent of damage on that island, said National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration meteorologist Bill South.



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