At Least 15 Dead After Irma's Historic Assault Leaves Florida, Georgia, South Carolina Reeling

Pam Wright
Published: September 12, 2017

An aircraft carrier has been dispatched to the Florida Keys to help with relief efforts as Irma after its historic assault on Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, killing at least 15 people.

Eight deaths have been attributed to the storm in Florida, including three deaths in Orange County, two deaths in Hardee County, one death Orange County, one in St. Johns County and one in Winter Park. Deaths were also reported in Georgia's Worth and Forsyth counties and the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs.

Four people have died in South Carolina: a man killed Monday by a falling limb in Calhoun Falls, a 21-year-old man killed Monday on wet and windy I-77, a 57-year-old man who died from monoxide poisoning in Sumpter County and a Columbia city employee who died in a single-vehicle crash.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Monday the Navy has deployed the USS Iwo Jima, USS New York and the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln to help with search and rescue as damage that has been called a looming "humanitarian crisis" is assessed.

A coastal flood warning continues in the Jacksonville area. Elevated water levels will continue along the St Johns River basin the next few days and along the coast, National Weather Service says. 

More than 6.6 million people are without power in the Southeast. 

Florida 

• President Donald Trump will visit the state of Florida on Thursday, according to White House press secretary Sarah Sanders. It's not yet clear which areas he will visit. 

• Federal Emergency Management Administration head Brock Long said 25 percent of the homes in the keys was destroyed. Another 65 percent suffered major damage.

• "Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted in some way," he said. 

• Residents were allowed to return to the Upper Keys, including Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada, on Tuesday. 

• Heavy equipment crews began clearing roadways and other debris in Florida. Cleanup crews are using chain saws to remove downed trees. 

• More than 5.4 million were without power in Florida as of Tuesday afternoon.

• Roughly 90 percent of Jacksonville Beach residents are without power. 

• Florida Gov. Rick Scott flew over the Keys Monday and said he witnessed "devastation."

• Martin Senterfitt, emergency management director for Morgan County, said a "humanitarian crisis" is looming in the middle and upper Florida Keys after the massive storm made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane early Sunday, the Miami Herald reports.

• The full extent of the damage is yet unknown on the 110-mile chain of islands, but Senterfitt says fatalities are expected. 

• Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay has declared an indefinite dusk-to-dawn curfew.

(MORE: Men Attempt Rescue of Manatees Trapped After Hurricane Irma Drains Bay)

Floodwaters surround Gilbert's Resort in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, Monday, Sept. 11, 2017, in Key Largo, Fla.
(AP Photo/Wilfredo Lee)

• Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi said crews began going house to house Monday to search for people who need help and to assess damage.

• The storm knocked out power throughout the Keys and damaged some of the Florida Keys Aqueduct Authority’s transmission lines, which may cripple the flow of fresh water to the island chain.

• More than 350 people in Jacksonville were rescued Monday as water raced through city streets, the AP reports. The Sheriff's Office responded with a tweet: "We hope the 356 people who had their lives saved yesterday will take evacuation orders seriously in the future."

Jacksonville Mayor Lenny Curry called the storm a disaster “of the magnitude we have not seen in 150 years,” the Florida Times-Union reports. 

• Naples Mayor Bill Barnett said Tuesday the city completed its initial damage assessment, and officials estimate it suffered $100 million in damage. 

• The storm caused extensive damage to Lakeland's tree canopy. An estimated 80 percent of the city's traffic lights were not functioning as of Tuesday morning, the city announced. 

• Authorities reopened Miami Beach Tuesday morning, with cars bottlenecked to return, the Miami Herald reports.

• The Miami International Airport said it hopes to be up and running Tuesday with limited service after experiencing significant water damage and 100 mph wind gusts during the storm. 

• The Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport reopened Tuesday.

(MORE: The Latest in the Keys)

• Boynton Beach police say two men posing as power company workers stole nearly $13,000 in jewelry from a 95-year-old woman, the AP reports.

• Miami-Dade and Broward public schools will remain closed until further notice due to recovery efforts.

• More than 120 homes were evacuated early Monday in Orange County, just outside the city of Orlando, as floodwaters started to pour in, the AP reports.

Georgia

• Gov. Nathan Deal urged the state’s residents and evacuees from Florida to stay put on Tuesday as crews work to remove debris and clear roads.

• A bridge in Savannah and one in Brunswick have been deemed impassible by state officials.

• A 62-year-old Worth County man became the first Georgia casualty from Tropical Storm Irma Monday.

• A 55-year-old man was killed in the Atlanta suburb of Sandy Springs when a tree fell on his home. 

• A woman died in Forsyth County Monday after a tree collapsed on top of her vehicle.

• More than 1.1 million Georgia residents were without power Tuesday afternoon, the Atlanta Journal-Courier reports. 

• Flooding has closed coastal Glynn County “until further notice.”

• St. Simons Island is cut off from the mainland as is Tybee Island off Savannah.

• About 190 flights into and out of Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport were canceled Tuesday morning

South Carolina

• Gov. Henry McMaster said Tuesday he did not order an evacuation of the city due to the number of routes out of the city. He added that he had to weigh the tourism economic impact of an evacuation. 

• The Port of Charleston reopened on Tuesday. 

• Charles Saxon, 57, was killed by a falling tree limb in Calhoun Falls on Monday.

• Zhen Tain, 21, died Monday in a crash on Interstate 77 east of Columbia.

• Robert Baker Jr., 54, of Sumpter County was pronounced dead Tuesday from monoxide poisoning after running a faulty generator inside his trailer home. 

• A Columbia city employee was killed in a single-vehicle wreck while on the way to help with a downed tree. 

• Emergency Management officials are in the process closing portions of the Charleston peninsula.

• More than 138,000 customers are without power statewide as of Tuesday afternoon.

• Flooding exceeded levels seen during Hurricane Matthew last year, weather.com meteorologist Christopher Dolce said.

Alabama and Tennessee

• Heavy rain and wind from the remnants of Irma caused numerous power outages in parts of Alabama and Tennesee.

• The outages prompted school officials to close some schools in both states. 

• In Alabama, more than 20,000 homes and businesses were without power Tuesday morning. 


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