Hurricane Irma weakens into tropical storm

The Latest: Gov Scott: State dealing with fuel, traffic jams

The National Hurricane Center said the storm is still producing wind gusts near to hurricane force, but they believe it will be downgraded to a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon. A day later, it had weakened to a tropical storm, but still brought risky storm surge flooding to Jacksonville.

And Irma seems likely to make more history before she is finished. Authorities are still surveying damage from the record-breaking storm, and this story will be updated as more details emerge.

That will cause the storm to weaken a bit, but the storm will then gain strength as it moves toward Florida early Sunday morning.

In the Keys, where the storm roared ashore Sunday morning with winds of 130 miles per hour, video showed houses shoved from their foundations and boats tossed onto the pavement.

"It's frightful, what we saw", Scott said. "We're not expecting any major hazards with it".

"We're not saying get in your vehicle and go", Merrill said.

Irma is "the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade" according to the BBC - widespread damage is expected in the US, with other countries and islands such as the British Virgin Islands already having been badly hurt. Streets flooded, and flying objects such as coconuts turned into risky projectiles. "And stay off the roads".

"At the end of the day, there is only so much you can do: board up the windows, put sand to block the water and hopefully that's it", Medina said.

A monster Hurricane Irma roared into Florida with 130 miles per hour winds Sunday for what could be a sustained assault on almost the entire Sunshine State, submerging streets, knocking out power to millions and snapping massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline. Eight to 12 feet of storm surge is possible in Southwest Florida between Captiva and Cape Sable, forecasters said.

Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn said the situation was not as bad as it could have been, but warned residents that unsafe storm surge continued.

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- More than 17,000 customers have already lost power in Savannah, Georgia. City officials said it would have taken about two weeks to move the massive equipment. "All the beauty kind of got sucked out of the city".

"The team here is going a fantastic job", Rodriguez said.

In a worst-case scenario, the spent fuel could release radiation if exposed to the air, but a federal nuclear official said that was extremely unlikely. And it could be a week until it's restored, Barnett said.

The utilities had thousands of workers, some from as far away as California, ready to help restore power once Irma's high winds pass their service areas.

While some coastal communities breathed a sigh of relief, people in Jacksonville faced flash flooding on Monday.

"We have very serious, significant river flooding along the banks of the St. Johns River".

Jacksonville, the largest city geographically in the country, is grappling with a record storm surge and enormous flooding.

On Saturday evening, Florida Gov. Rick Scott told residents, "If you have been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now", according to the New York Times.

"Well", he added, "we're about to get punched in the face".

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