Gov. Rick Scott: 'The Most Important Thing Is to Pray for Us'

Gov. Rick Scott: 'The Most Important Thing Is to Pray for Us'

Hurricane Irma is now a Tropical Depression but the storm continues on its destructive path through the United States.

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.

Irma - at one time the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic - left more than 20 people dead across the Caribbean as it steamed toward the U.S. RELATED: Shelter animals from Florida arrive in Bay Area ahead of IrmaIt was chugging toward Florida as a Category 3, with winds down considerably from their peak of 185 miles per hour (300 kph) earlier in the week.

Hurricane Irma is all set for massive destruction as the hurricane is heading towards the peninsula, the storm is now engulfing Florida coast.

Two other people died from a two-car crash in the rain in Hardee County, which is about 96 kilometre inland from Sarasota, officials said.

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. Emergency crews made rescues throughout the night. "We have to wait till all the elements pass through", he said.

According to the National Hurricane Center, Irma is 345 miles southeast of Miami as of 5 p.m. Friday.

In a press conference late on Saturday, Scott said an expected storm surge could reach 4.5 metres in the southwestern coastal city of Naples.

A hurricane warning remains in effect for all of South Florida.

In the Jacksonville area, close to the Georgia line, storm surge brought some of the worst flooding ever seen there, with at least 46 people pulled from swamped homes.

"This is a deadly and devastating hurricane, and every part of Florida will feel the wrath of this storm", Silagy said.

The risky Category 3 storm made landfall at 3:35 p.m. ET in Marco Island, Florida. "No cell service in at least the lower and middle Keys", said Bill South of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The live stream at Key West has proved a big hit online, and this is one of the reasons why.

Irma is moving very quickly, kicking up strong winds.

"I don't think anybody alive today in this state has ever seen anything like this", Scott said at the state's emergency operations center when the first parts of the storm started to cross into the Florida Keys.

In North Carolina, Gov. Roy Cooper told people to prepare even as projections had a weakened Irma entering the state well inland early next week. There were 166,598 customers without power across the state of Georgia, according to Georgia Power.

Another 75 shelters for people with special needs had received 12,700, a number up 700 from earlier Sunday. No injuries were reported.

Millions of people remain without power as damage assessments continue. FEMA chief Brock Long has said some places won't have electricity for weeks.

- Miami streets turned into raging rivers, and the city's airport is closed because of significant water damage.

"Till yesterday, we were told Miami area would be the worst affected".

In the Orlando area, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World all were closing Saturday. On Monday, Cuban state TV announced 10 hurricane related deaths - meaning Irma killed a total of 36 people in the Caribbean before heading to the US. Do you have a question about the storm or have information that you believe is important to share?

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