Deaths in Florida Keys takes Irma's death toll to 61

  • Deaths in Florida Keys takes Irma's death toll to 61

Deaths in Florida Keys takes Irma's death toll to 61

The fate of the Florida Keys, where Irma rumbled through with Category 4 muscle, remains largely a question mark.

President Donald Trump has approved the state's request for emergency federal aid to help with temporary housing, home repairs, emergency work and hazard mitigation.

Some 6.4 million Floridians had been ordered to evacuate - more than a quarter of Florida's population - amid warnings they would be "on their own" if they stayed. It has already killed at least 4 people in the United States as well.

The governor described overturned mobile homes, washed-ashore boats and rampant flood damage.

The Keys were largely evacuated before the storm struck with winds of up to 130 miles per hour (209 kph), and police established a checkpoint on Monday to keep displaced residents from returning while authorities work to restore power, water, fuel supplies and medical service. In the meantime, shelters and distribution centers for food and water are being opened. "I'd like to walk through there, but it looks like it's three feet (one metre) deep at least, and my boots are only a foot deep and I don't like cold water, which explains why I live here", Sam Parish told AFP.

While the Keys were under mandatory evacuation orders as Irma neared, not everyone left. "Refueling gas stations along major evacuation routes will be a top priority, as it was before the storm".

"The Keys are going to take awhile", he said.

Further north, Miami Beach residents were permitted to return, too.

As the eyewall passed by, the storm surge flooded the streets.

Some business owners removed boards from their windows, preparing to reopen.

Irma killed 43 people in the Caribbean and at least 11 in Florida, Georgia and SC.

While some coastal communities breathed a sigh of relief, people in Jacksonville faced flash flooding Monday.

If the water hadn't pushed out, Shiveley said, storm surge could have been in the eight or nine-foot range.

The phenomenon, known as negative surge, meant that because the hurricane was so strong the ocean was sucked up into the storm.

Bob Buckhorn, the Mayor of Tampa, said: "Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face". "We're going to get this state rebuilt".

"There will be many employers who just simply will not be in a financial position to continue to pay for several weeks, when they can't be open to generate revenue", Chastain said.

"Now is not the time for controversy", he said. Florida: Two deaths: A driver died in a auto accident on State Road 417, said Orange County Fire Rescue Chief Otto Drozd. But half of the county's traffic lights are still not working. Alabama Power said 23,000 customers, mostly in the eastern part of the state, were without power due to Irma.

This image released by the Monroe County Board of County Commissioners shows debris along the Overseas Highway in the Florida Keys, Fla., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. Tropical storm-force winds are expected to begin Sunday evening.

South of Jacksonville, in Clay County, people were being rescued from flooded homes.

"It's going to be probably many more days before they can even assess and turn it back on because there's a lot of lines down in the streets with trees on them", she said.

"I just hope everyone survived", Gov. Rick Scott said.

Hardee County Sheriff's deputy Julie Ann Bridges was picking up supplies for a hurricane shelter when her patrol auto collided with Patrol Sergeant Joseph Ossman's vehicle as he was reporting for his shift. Fumes from a portable gas generator appeared to have been running inside the house, and the individuals were overcome by fumes. Two others died in a auto crash in the rain in Hardee County. Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said 21-year-old Zhen Tain died in the crash on Interstate 77 just east of Columbia. A 62-year-old man who was on his roof was killed in Worth County, which experienced wind gusts of 69 miles per hour.

At least four people have died in SC.