US, Florida: Hurricane Irma leaves behind a trail of devastation, as it moves into Georgia

Cities across Florida began on Monday the task of recovering from Hurricane Irma, which claimed the lives of at least six people in the state, left more than 6.7 million residential and business customers without electricity and caused widespread storm-surge flooding.

Currently a tropical storm that is moving north over southwestern Georgia, Irma left a panorama of flooded streets and roads blocked by fallen trees in many of the state’s urban centers, some of which are under nighttime curfews to facilitate the work of cleaning crews and power line technicians.

Six fatalities have been blamed on Irma in Florida, including the deaths of Hardee County Sheriff’s Office Deputy Julie Bridges and corrections officer Joseph Ossman, who perished in a head-on collision on Sunday in a hurricane evacuation zone in southeast Tampa.

Two other people died in the Florida Keys, which was hit by storm surges of up to three meters (10 feet), while the other two people killed were residents of Miami-Dade and Orange counties.

The hurricane earlier caused 37 deaths in the Caribbean, where it was a Category 5 hurricane at peak strength and caused catastrophic damage to some small islands in the Lesser Antilles and also battered Cuba, which has reported 10 fatalities.

More than 6.7 million customers of Florida’s main electric utilities are without power due to Irma, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.

The Florida Keys, a coral-cay archipelago between mainland Florida and Cuba, was undoubtedly one of the hardest hit areas, as state Gov. Rick Scott observed while flying over those islands on Monday.

 

 

 

Read more on the Latin American Herald Tribune.

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