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State of emergency expanded in Georgia ahead of Hurricane Irma

State of emergency expanded in Georgia ahead of Hurricane Irma

As Irma began moving into Georgia, a tornado spun off by the storm was reported on the coast, and firefighters inland had to rescue several people after trees fell on their homes. The army has more than 140 aircraft, 650 trucks, 150 boats prepared, additional resources on standby, the Pentagon said. It then is predicted to pass through southwest corner of Georgia before passing across Alabama and into northern MS and Tennessee as a tropical storm.

Governor Rick Scott said he would travel later on Monday to the Florida Keys.

Most Keys residents had followed mandatory evacuation orders, but there were some holdouts who had to hunker down as Irma tore over the area known for its fishing and scuba diving. Firefighters evacuated more than two dozen tenants in the pounding rain and wind.

At 11 a.m., Irma was centered 70 miles east of Tallahassee, with peak winds of 65 mph.

Irma's center was about 105 miles (170 km) north of Tampa when forecasters announced it had weakened to a tropical storm. "You will not survive this storm surge". "Avoid Downtown Charleston, roads already closing across the city", the Weather Service tweeted.

North Carolina is set to receive $6.1 million from Trump's federal government almost a year after the hurricane killed more than 20 people and dropped a foot of rain on the state.

Even as glimmers of hope emerged from parts of the state forecasters once anxious would be razed by the storm, the fate of the Florida Keys, where Irma rumbled through with Category 4 muscle, remained largely a question mark. It can occur far from the storm itself, and cause rapid, devastating floods, hours before or after the storm hits. Nonetheless, barrier islands like Marco Island, near Naples, reported rising flood water and a loss of electricity and drinking water, authorities said.

Brian Entin, reporter for South Florida TV station WSVN, is in downtown Miami and filmed water rising along one of the city's main streets.

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After hitting Cuba on Saturday, September 9th as a Category 5 storm, Irma has moved on to Florida Keys, now a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds of up to 209 kilometres per hour.

"We've experienced so many hurricanes, I think we can wait it out", Cabanzon said. Together, we will restore, recover and rebuild. "I don't have any numbers on fatalities at this point".

Shares of insurance companies were among the big winners, with Florida-based Federated National, HCI Group and Universal Insurance all up more than 12 percent.

"Tonight, I'm sweating. Tonight I'm scared to death", said 60-year-old Carol Walterson Stroud, who sought refuge in a senior center in Florida's southernmost city with her husband, granddaughter and dog.

Most traffic lights in Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, were not functioning on Monday morning, and sand, blown from the county's beaches, covered the A1A highway. Company officials say if sustained winds reach 100 miles per hour, they may shut down power some plant units early, and if storm surge and saltwater threatens substations, those may also be shut down ahead of the storm.

A tree snapped in half by Hurricane Irma falls on a power line in Alachua County, causing much of Newberry to lose power.

The White House says Trump has spoken with the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee.

As Hurricane Irma makes its way north across Florida, officials warn that storm surge is likely in certain areas.

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