"We've already surpassed historic levels, the levels will continue to rise".
More than 660,000 Tampa Bay homes and businesses were without power overnight as 70- to 85-mph winds hit the region, with gusts approaching triple digits.
"It wasn't supposed to be like this", CNN correspondent Sara Sidner said from Daytona Beach. "Cash donations allow relief supplies to be purchased near the disaster site, avoiding delays, and steep transportation and logistical costs that can encumber material donations".
"Many Americans respond to disasters by collecting food, clothing and household items for people in need".
Authorities sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to help with search-and-rescue operations in Florida on Monday as a flyover of the hurricane-battered Keys yielded what the governor said were scenes of devastation. It is expected to track along the west coast of the state through Monday morning.
That's because some islands are extremely difficult to access.
Some seeking re-entry argued with police who stopped them at the first of a series of bridges leading to the island chain.
Large debris is blocking access, and a 150-foot stretch "has some buckling", Newman said.
Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long warned that those who decided to stay in Key West "were on their own". Local media filmed downtown Miami under water, and Broward County- one of the nation's largest Jewish communities- was expecting up to six feet of flooding by its coast.
More than 1.2 million Georgia Power and Electric Membership Corp. customers were without power today morning. As of 11 a.m. ET, Irma packed 65 mph winds and was moving west-northwest at 17 mph.
The hurricane was downgraded to a tropical storm on Monday after battering Florida with 100mph winds and torrential rain overnight. We lost his audio, but the producers have told me he's okay.
The Florida storm comes just days after Hurricane Harvey dumped record-setting rain in Texas, causing unprecedented flooding, killing at least 60 people and leaving an estimated $180 billion in property damage in its wake.
It swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, flooded streets, cast boats ashore, snapped miles of power lines and toppled construction cranes.
The storm also claimed two lives in Georgia and two in South Carolina. But that doesn't mean all Floridians should try to go back home.
Another man was killed in a wreck on a wet and windy interstate as Irma moved past.
"How are we going to survive from here?" asked Gwen Bush, who waded through thigh-deep floodwaters outside her central Florida home to reach National Guard rescuers and get a ride to a shelter. Which then leads to pressurition issues as Irma gets closer. Valerie Gilleece, 55, had ridden out the storm in the city because her wheelchair-bound husband insisted on it, she said.
A watch means hurricane or tropical storm conditions are possible within 48 hours.
North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper also declared a state of emergency for all 100 counties in his state ahead of Irma. The intensity of the rain coming down is something like I haven't experienced before.
The storm stripped the islands' formerly lush green hills to a brown stubble and flattened buildings, then swamped much of Cuba's coastline, including Havana's iconic Malecon seawall.
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