Hurricane Irma has weakened into Tropical Storm Irma as it moves north and away from Florida, but the threat of heavy rainfall and strong gusts will continue across Georgia, South Carolina and Alabama.
Still, he said, it will take days for many people to be restored and, in some cases where the damage was extensive, weeks.
The storm slammed the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at 9 a.m. before weakening to a tropical storm on Monday morning.
The massive storm triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people, and made two landfalls Sunday. Hurricane Irma did its damage to South Florida - downed trees, power lines and roofs were ripped apart. "But this one scares me", said Sally Carlson in St. Petersburg, reported the Associated Press. Roads were flooded, but city spokesman Zachery Good said the majority of Homestead's mobile homes were spared destruction. No injuries have been reported.
At least two cranes used to construct high-rise buildings in Miami collapsed. One swung vigorously over downtown Miami. That height of water would easily flood the first floors of most hotels, homes, and condos.
Much of the state's east and west coasts remained vulnerable on Monday to storm surges, when hurricanes push ocean water dangerously over normal levels.
Meteorologists have urged the public not go outside due to storm surges that could rise rapidly.
Hurricane Irma has weakened slightly as it brings a heavy rainfall to Florida it's still a significant threat to the southeast, including some possible effects here in SC.
Those who did not evacuate ahead of the storm are in danger, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Saturday.
Hurricane-force winds extend out 60 miles, mainly to the west of the eye, and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 415 miles.
South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for some barrier islands.
Naples was among the Florida cities pummeled by Hurricane Irma on September 10 - coincidentally the same day that Hurricane Donna devastated Naples 57 years ago, according to David Fralick, the city's communications manager.
Later in the morning, most people were heeding warnings and staying off the roads that are now wet and in some cases covered with slippery leaves and small limbs.
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