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Trump has 'great concern' about Irma, wants to travel there soon -Pence
12 Setiembre 2017, 02:56 | Gervasio Siguenza
Irma Prompts Miami-Dade to Plan First Major Evacuation in 12 Years
As Irma transitioned from a hurricane to a tropical storm, the cleanup effort across Florida begins, as residents try to pick up the pieces of what Irma left behind.
"This is a storm of enormous destructive power".
Hurricane Irma knocked out power to almost 4 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday, threatening millions more as it crept up the state's west coast, and full restoration of service could take weeks, local electric utilities said. Forecasts show it could enter the state Monday anywhere from the Atlantic coast to the Alabama state line.
The airport for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has re-opened Tuesday morning after closing as Hurricane Irma pounded the state.
Irma had earlier made landfall about 9 a.m.at Cudjoe Key - less than 30 miles northeast of Key West - with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
In Florida, gas shortages and gridlock plagued the evacuations, turning normally simple trips into tests of will. Parts of interstates 75 and 95 north were bumper-to-bumper, while very few cars drove in the southbound lanes.
In the Jacksonville area, close to the Georgia line, storm surge brought some of the worst flooding ever seen there, with at least 46 people pulled from swamped homes.
"We've never had that many outages, and I don't think any utility in the country ever has", FPL Chief Executive Eric Silagy said at a news conference on Monday.
One of the teams was preparing to fly into Key West, directly in the path of the storm. It added a storm surge warning and extended watch areas wrapping around much of the peninsula.
Trump returned to the White House later on Sunday, has been 'monitoring this storm 24/7, ' Pence told reporters during a visit to the Washington headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
"This is going to sneak up on people", said Jamie Rhome, head of the hurricane center's storm surge unit. "You've got to be patient".
"The task we have before us is vast but with a people like ours, we will win the most important battle: the recovery".
To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, many criticized governments for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattered many towns and stripped the lush green hills to a brown stubble. Some locals grumbled about the forecast, even though Florida's west coast had always been included in the zone of probability.
"I was watching the news until Tuesday and then when I saw how strong it got, it was a no-brainer", Charlie Hernandez, Medina's brother-in-law, said.
"It's a big storm", Masters said. "We're hoping for the best - we've bought nonperishable foods and water, and we have a flashlight".
More than 180,000 people huddled in shelters in the Sunshine State and officials warned it could take weeks for electricity to be restored to everyone.
The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma at one of the storm's most powerful points.
Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone. Higher rainfall amounts are possible in western North Carolina where three to six inches of rain will be possible.
Northbound lanes of I-95 near the Georgia-South Carolina border are empty as northbound lanes are packed as people evacuate ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Yemassee, South Carolina.
Irma Heads North, Downgraded to a Tropical Storm
The Category 4 storm made landfall in the Florida Keys early Sunday, still far from the capital city in the state's panhandle. The power is likely to be interrupted by the high winds and rain that is about to enter the Central Florida area.
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Tropical Storm Irma appears to be heading northwest
Irma's impacts were spread far and wide along Florida's Atlantic coast Monday morning. "I hope everybody will pray for us". At least three people are reported to have died, and more than two million homes were left without power .
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There were a few near misses and some colossal cock-ups along the way but continental success always eluded the red and blues. Police Scotland urged supporters to plan their journey in advance, with a number of road closures due to be in place.