As evacuated Floridians sit in bumper-to-bumper traffic to head
home and face the aftermath of Irma, the weakened storm is
still bringing wind and rain to the Southeast.
Irma, which tore a path of destruction across the Caribbean and
through Florida, has caused at least 11 deaths in the United
States and left about 6.7 million people without power in five
PHOTO: SJCFR Urban Search and Rescue teams are finding
numerous homes throughout the county that have been damaged
by high winds, fallen trees and flood waters. (St. Johns
County Fire Rescue/Facebook)
PHOTO: A car sits abandoned in storm surge waters along North
Fort Lauderdale Beach Boulevard as Hurricane Irma hits the
southern part of the state Sept. 10, 2017 in Fort Lauderdale,
Fla. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
Irma was downgraded to a post-tropical cyclone this morning and
is expected to bring heavy rain today to the Carolinas,
Kentucky and Tennessee. Irma was located about 65 miles
southwest of Atlanta this morning.
Heavy rain in Georgia, South Carolina and Jacksonville
Irma moved north Monday, bringing heavy rain and wind through
the northern Florida city of Jacksonville and then Georgia and
Wind gusts reached 64 mph in Atlanta, and the coastal city of
Brunswick, Georgia, saw over 6 inches of rain.
Charleston, South Carolina, saw a nearly 10-foot storm surge.
Five to 6 inches of rain fell in the area and winds reached 66
PHOTO: A Charleston, S.C. resident puts plastic up over his
apartment door as a car rests in floodwaters near East Bay
Street in Charleston, S.C., Sept. 10, 2017. (Mic Smith/AP)
Water raced through the streets of Jacksonville earlier Monday,
bringing record levels of storm surge along the coast and
PHOTO: Street flooding is prevalent on the Southbank of
downtown as Hurricane Irma passes by in Jacksonville, Fla.,
Sept. 11, 2017. (Will Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP)
PHOTO: Urban Flood Water Rescue Team 2, with the Jacksonville
Fire and Rescue Department, makes its way along San Marco
Boulevard on the Southbank of downtown as Hurricane Irma
passes by, Sept. 11, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (Will
Dickey/The Florida Times-Union via AP)
Upper Keys and Miami Beach residents permitted to return home
The Florida Keys have been cut off from the mainland for days
since Irma made landfall on the low-lying islands Sunday
morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 130 mph winds and a
storm surge of 10 feet. It was the first Category 4 landfall in
Florida since 2004.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said the
storm left “devastation” on the Keys, which were under
mandatory evacuation orders during Irma.
Officials finally this morning opened entry into the Upper Keys
for residents in Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada, up to
mile marker 73, allowing residents to return home and see the
damage for themselves.
Dozens of eager Keys residents parked their cars along U.S. 1
Monday, staying there through the night to make sure they could
get onto the Keys when access was granted, ABC Miami affiliate
While the Keys were under mandatory evacuation orders as Irma
neared, not everyone left. Florida Director of Emergency
Management Bryan Koon estimates that about 10,000 people
remained in the Keys during the storm, according to the Miami
Further north, Miami Beach residents will be permitted to
return at 8 a.m. today.
Storm pummels Naples and Miami
After Irma left the Keys Sunday morning, it moved north,
passing over Naples, which recorded a 142-mph wind gust. The
city also saw nearly 12 inches of rain and a 7-foot storm
surge. Farther north, wind gusts reached 94 mph in Lakeland
and up to 90 mph in the Tampa Bay area.
PHOTO: A street is flooded as Hurricane Irma passes through
Naples, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017. (David Goldman/AP)
PHOTO: Hurricane Irma causes damage in an East Naples
mobile home park, in Naples, Fla., Sept. 11, 2017. (Daniel
In Miami, which saw winds up to 99 mph, resident Joe Kiener
told ABC News he has endured multiple hurricanes in the
Caribbean but had never experienced a storm as brutal as
“I’ve been in Miami Beach for two years, which is prone to
flooding, but this is completely out of the norm,” Kiener
PHOTO: A vehicle passes downed palm trees and two cyclists
attempt to ride as Hurricane Irma passes through the area
on Sept. 10, 2017 in Miami Beach, Fla. (Joe Raedle/Getty
Kiener boarded up his house and is staying at a high-rise
hotel in Miami. He said he had to move down to the lobby
after his hotel room windows took a beating from the strong
“The windows started cracking, and these are massive-impact
windows. They were exposed 12 hours of continuous heavy
winds. At one point in time, one of them started splintering
and that’s when I lost my nerve and said, ‘I’m leaving,'” he
said. “It psyches you out; it’s just the endless hallowing
and pounding of the wind.”
PHOTO: A gas station sign lies along Biscayne Boulevard
after Hurricane Irma struck in Miami, Sept. 10, 2017. (Erik
Fatalities in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina
At least seven people, including a sheriff’s deputy, died of
storm-related injuries in Florida as the hurricane barreled
across the state.
One person was killed in Monroe County, which includes the
Florida Keys. The man was killed after he lost control of a
truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at
tropical-storm strength, officials said.
Two others, a sheriff’s deputy and a corrections officer,
died from a two-car crash in the rain in Hardee County, which
is about 60 miles inland from Sarasota, officials said.
In Winter Park, near Orlando, a man was electrocuted by a
downed power line Monday morning, according to the Winter
Park Police Department. He was pronounced dead at the scene
after investigators found him lying in the street, police
PHOTO: A fallen tree lies atop a row of cars on Sept. 10,
2017 Miami, in the wake of Hurricane Irma. (Michele Eve
Another person died from carbon monoxide poisoning from
improper use of a generator in Miami-Dade County, the mayor
Another person died in Hillsborough County while cutting
fallen tree branches.
Another fatality was from a car crash in Orange County in
At least three people have died in Georgia as a result of the
storm. In Sandy Springs, a man died while lying in bed after
a large tree broke and fell on his home, Sandy Springs Mayor
Rusty Paul announced on Facebook.
In Forsyth County, a female passenger died after a downed
tree struck her vehicle, the sheriff’s office said.
A third death was reported in Worth County.
In Abbeville County, South Carolina, a 57-year-old man was
killed after a tree limb fell on him.
At least 37 others died from Irma in the Caribbean, including
at least 10 in Cuba.
Millions without power amid widespread evacuations
At least 6.7 million customers are without power in Florida,
Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina and Alabama this
morning, including more than 5.6 million accounts in Florida
Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light,
warned Monday that “people need to be prepared for some
prolonged and extended outages.”
PHOTO: Members of the Pinto family gather on the ground
floor of a hotel in Fort Myers, Fla., Sept. 10, 2017.
(Timothy Fadek / Redux for ABC News)
About 6.5 million Floridians had been ordered to evacuate as
Irma neared, and some residents of Georgia and South Carolina
were under evacuation orders as well.
Some chose to go to shelters, while others decided to hunker
down at home to ride out the storm.
A Naples resident told ABC News she was turned away from two
shelters before she and her 10-year-old son were finally
accepted at one.
“We have a dog and there were not that many shelters that
accepted dogs,” she said, adding, “We didn’t want to be that
far away from our home.” While she and her son stay inside
the shelter, her husband is hunkering down with their dog at
PHOTO: Evacuees sit inside of the Germain Arena that is
serving as a shelter from the approaching Hurricane Irma,
Sept. 9, 2017 in Estero, Florida. (Mark Wilson/Getty
President Donald Trump approved a “major disaster”
declaration in Florida on Sunday, authorizing “federal
funding to flow directly to Floridians impacted by Hurricane
Irma and reimburs[ing] local communities and the state
government to aid in response and recovery from Hurricane
Irma,” state officials said.
Gov. Scott said nearly 30 states had deployed personnel and
resources to help with the response to Irma.
ABC News’ Max Golembo, Dan Peck, Rachel Katz, Will
Gretsky, Jason Volack, Ben Gittleson and Ben Stein
contributed to this report.