As of 9:50 AM on Monday, about two-thirds of the Florida Peninsula is without electricity after Hurricane Irma slammed directly into that state from south to north.
There is now very widespread FLOODING in many areas, with Everglades City under 15 FEET of water and Rt 41 closed by 6 FEET of water.
Alligators and snakes are quickly becoming a problem is populated areas.
St. Johns County Florida. Currently in the Hastings/Flagler Estates area lost power at around 10:30 last night (9-10-17) and continue to be without at the present time.
Extensive flooding as we approach the noon high tide. Reports of the St. Johns River having spilled its banks by 4 feet at low tide last night at midnight with and expected 24 feet increase to high tide today.
Winds are steady at tropical force from the WSW with gusts well into hurricane force (75 and higher) and light to variable rainfall.
Reports of overnight tornadic activity are widespread throughout the St. Johns, Duval, Clay County areas with isolated reports of treefall and other tornado related damage.
A curfew has been set in place by the National Guard for all of the historic downtown area and the beaches of St. Augustine from 7pm to 7am, expected to continue into this evening as well.
Florida is facing is Massive problems with power infrastructure. Unknown extent of roadway infrastructure, and several counties facing sewage backups.
Both coasts effected heavily, and then she plowed like a derecho up the center of the state.
Damage assessment is just getting started.
According to the National Weather Service in Jacksonville, Storm Surge Flooding exceeds all-time record in downtown Jacksonville record set in Hurricane Dora in 1964.
Video from Pine Key, one of the southernmost Florida Keys, shows absolute devastation:
Drone footage from Naples:
National Weather Service Radar as of 10:00 AM shows the remnants of the storm moving northward into Georgia, South Carolina in the east and Alabama in the west:
As dawn broke over Tampa Bay on Monday morning, the devastation that Hurricane Irma brought to the region was beginning to come into focus.
Search and rescue crews are out this morning to assess the damage, but early on, reports of fallen trees and other impacts filtered in through social media.
The storm also ripped the roof off the Howard Johnson’s on Gulf Boulevard in St. Pete Beach.
“I don’t want to say there’s a lot of damage, said Richard Rude, meteorologist with the National Weather Service. “I guess there’s some damage and it seems to be mainly trees down, some power lines down and some localized flooding.
Keith Overton watched as Hurricane Irma ripped the roof from the building Sunday around 9 p.m.
“It blew it all the way the beach,” Overton said.” At that point, we said it’s time to go in for the night.”
Waters retreated in the Gulf of Mexico Sunday night, exposing buoys that Overton said are normally about 75 yards back from the shoreline.
“It was about the size of a football field that you could walk on,” Overton said.
“This is the painful story of how I lost my father during Katrina…And it was not the storm’s enormous force that killed him… nor the massive floods that followed… and not even the lack of food, water or shelter…”
By Monday morning, waves were crashing along the shore, which was noticeably free of much debris.
Up and down Gulf Blvd., most signs and buildings remained intact. Windows held strong. Trees stood tall. Detour signs from construction near Corey Avenue were busted open, but construction barriers remained in place.
Meanwhile, the Jackson family was relieved after waking up Monday morning.
“I feel lucky,” said Jeremy Jackson, 42. “We were prepared for a direct hit and to be without power for days.”
Several downed limbs covered the Jackson’s St. Petersburg yard, but the house seemed to otherwise sustain minimal damage. Jared, 10, in his DJ Kitty Rays onesie looked at the large limbs with interest. His little sister, Lauren, 7, stayed back, wrapped in a blanket.
The Jacksons still had power, but other blocks in the Harshaw neighborhood weren’t so lucky.
“I’m still not ready to admit what happened,” Jennifer Jackson, 40, said. “I don’t want to jinx it.”
At least 32 people have been arrested across Florida for trying to loot empty businesses and homes that have been evacuated in preparation for Hurricane Irma – 28 alone in Miami, according to local authorities.
Two people burst into an Orlando sporting store and allegedly stole guns, before facing off with SWAT in a standoff.
Shocking videos also emerged of gangs trying to break into stores and take advantage of deserted properties.
Police were called to the scene after witnesses reported a burglary at Academy Sports near the Mall at Millenia in Orlando, WESH reported.
Soon afterward, SWAT team officers arrived when it became clear the looters were allegedly trying to steal guns.
At least one person surrendered while another barricaded himself in the store and refused, according to WFTV.
SWAT officers reportedly used gas to subdue at least one suspect.
Soon afterward, Orlando Police released a statement announcing that officers took two suspects into custody and that the event was ‘peacefully resolved’.
A local utilities company near Orlando is reporting that a number of residents have made disturbing complaints that people posing as utility workers are robbing homeowners at gun point, according to WOFL-TV.
Earlier on Sunday, two groups of looters were caught on camera ransacking two separate sporting goods stores in hurricane-hit South Florida as one alleged looter was shot and at least 12 were arrested, local media reported.
A Broward County sheriff’s deputy shot a teenager and arrested another after they are alleged to have tried to break in to a home in the affluent Fort Lauderdale suburb of Weston at around 3:00am Saturday, NBC 6 TV reported.
Local officials said that deputies responded to the home after the owners, who were out of town, noticed that their surveillance system captured the burglars inside.
A deputy opened fire and shot one suspect, 17, and arrested another, it was reported.
The teenager was rushed to hospital with injuries that are considered non-life-threatening.
Meanwhile, at least eight people were filmed by a television camera breaking into and stealing merchandise from a Fort Lauderdale shoe store as Hurricane Irma pummeled South Florida.
Camera crews from ABC Local 10 filmed the group of men and women breaking into Simon’s Sportswear, an athletic clothing retailer with dozens of locations across South Florida.
House-to-House Rescues in the Keys
Crews will go house to house in the Florida Keys looking for people who need help. destroyed roadways, isolating many who didn’t evacuate when it slammed into the island chain Sunday morning. The county’s emergency management director is calling this a humanitarian crisis.
The eye of the storm landed in the middle of the Florida Keys with all the fury of a Category 4 hurricane, swelling waterways to an estimated 10 to 15 feet in some areas.
Water was lapping at the steps of Marathon High School, one of only a few shelters in the Keys.
National Weather Service’s Bill South stayed behind in Key West to work with first responders.
“We have been busy just trying to get information out there to the people, to put them in the proper places to try to save their lives,” South said.
South believes the hardest hit areas will be between Big Coppit Key and Marathon with the brunt focused on the island of Big Pine Key. Debris and a washout of the road have isolated Big Pine from the other Keys.
“Irma has officially passed and this is what she left,” said Michala Laufle, who rode out Irma in the Keys. She said she was scared but is glad she didn’t evacuate.
“For those people who left, they don’t know when they’re getting back in — it might be another two weeks, so now that we’re here we can actually start to take care of the problem and rebuild and clean up and go from there,” Laufle said.
First responders will be able to get out to the hard-to-reach areas today and the military will be flying in C-130 cargo planes to distribute water and supplies today in the lower Keys. The other logistical issue: authorities have asked people not to use their boats. The waters now contain too many dangerous pieces of debris to safely move around.
In Key West: Flooding on Duval between Caroline & Front. All of Front is flooded. Duck Avenue is flooded.
Bayside Motel roof ripped off, landed on neighbor’s home & damaged a car.
Multiple Stock Island trailers demolished.
Downed utility pole is blocking 20th Street. Parts of Flagler Avenue & Northside Drive are flooded.
Counted 10-20 utility lines & 20 trees down in Oldtown. Downed trees & tree limbs scattered throughout KW.
Counted at least 100 ppl walking around outside after eye wall passed.
From others: Navigation hazard posted for Keys waters.
Precautionary boil water notice.
Fire-rescue clearing highway with chainsaws. National Guard assisting.
FDOT inspectors begin checking roads & bridges tomorrow. Snake Creek Bridge NOT compromised.
Heaviest damage from Marathon to Lower Keys. Monroe County closed until further notice.