Irma made landfall on the Florida Keys as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday, but the full extent of the damage there is still unknown.
Hurricane Irma that pummelled Florida all through Sunday and early Monday has claimed at least five lives, plunged almost six million homes in darkness and remained a major risk for flash floods despite weakening to a tropical storm.
Most outages were in Florida Power & Light's service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state. "My heart goes out to the people in the Keys", Florida governor Rick Scott said, who surveyed the scene from the air on Monday. "It is by far and away the largest in the history of our company". Initial reports out of the regions showed catastrophic damage: an estimated 25 percent of houses in the Keys were destroyed, while another 65 percent had severe damage, the Federal Emergency Management Agency said Tuesday.
The storm has moved past Florida and is heading toward Georgia and Alabama but peek says his job is still not complete.
Irma's outer bands began striking Jacksonville late Sunday night when the storm was still a weak Category 2, soon to be downgraded to a Category 1. The utility's two nuclear plants, however, were reported safe. Both units at its Turkey Point facility, located about 30 miles (48 km) south of Miami, were shut by early Monday.
The hurricane, once a fearsome Category 5 when it smashed into several Caribbean islands last week, was reduced to remnants with top sustained winds of 15 miles per hour (24 kph) early Tuesday.
The system will continue to track into the Deep South and the Tennessee River Valley through Monday and Tuesday.
As of about noon, six of 42 bridges in the Keys had been inspected by the Florida Deptartment of Transportation, and none had been cleared of debris and downed power lines enough to be re-opened to vehicles.
Instead, Tampa woke up to none of that, Buckhorn said. Next came Irma, followed later by Katia.
Ducks swim through a street the morning after Hurricane Irma swept through the area on September 11, 2017 in Naples, Florida.