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Irma weakens; officials urge patience for evacuees eager to return home

14 Septembre 2017

After wreaking havoc on Florida, Irma knocked out power in Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina and North Carolina.

Irma sustained its 185-mph winds for 37 hours - "the longest any cyclone around the globe has maintained that intensity on record", according to Phil Klotzbach, a research scientist at Colorado State University.

The National Weather Service in Atlanta issued a tropical storm watch for the area Monday and Tuesday.

Irma is centered about 105 miles (170 kilometers) north-northwest of Tampa, Florida, and is moving north-northwest near 18 mph (30 kph). It then moved north Monday, bringing heavy rain and wind through the northern Florida city of Jacksonville and then Georgia and SC. A lot of homes, especially in southwest Florida also saw some flooding due to surge.

Jacksonville Sheriff's officials warned residents not to drive through standing water, adding that in addition to flooding, there are trees and power lines down across the area.

The scope of damage in Florida and its neighbouring states paled in comparison with the destruction left by Irma in parts of the Caribbean, where it devastated several islands and killed almost 40 people. Disaster risk analyst Center for Disaster Management and Risk Reduction Technology, based in Germany, estimated more than $10 billion in damages in the Caribbean, making it the costliest storm ever in the region.

French President Emmanuel Macron is visiting Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy on Wednesday, a day after arriving in Guadeloupe where he acknowledged the angry response some people have to what they see as inadequate help from France.Macron promised more supplies and security forces for the islands.

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"Mental illness, it's a bit like drugs, it doesn't give a s- who you are", the singer continued. Calling it a "very odd thing to come to mind", she admitted, "I miss her horribly".

Authorities say the storm killed one person in Florida - a man found dead in a pickup truck that had crashed into a tree in high winds on the Florida Keys. State media reported about 1 million people were evacuated from high-risk flood areas. No injuries have been reported. You feel sorry for every one of those people.

She let boat owner Carl Spavold stay in her condo, which he said saved his life.

"Citizens are frustrated about not being able to get the support they need right now", Long told CNN.

Irma devastated several Caribbean islands en route to Florida.

The state of 20.6 million people has begun the hard task of assessing damage and rebuilding from Irma, which first made landfall in the Keys Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane.

The Keys are linked by 42 bridges that have to be checked for safety before motorists can be allowed on the farther islands, officials said.

Irma weakens; officials urge patience for evacuees eager to return home