The death toll from Hurricane Irma, which devastated the state of Florida, has now risen to 11 people.
Hundreds of thousands of people who evacuated before the storm are now returning to find their homes and neighborhoods destroyed or severely damaged. ABC News reports that about 6.7 million people are still without power in Florida and other southeast states.
Eric Silagy, president and CEO of Florida Power & Light, stated that "people need to be prepared for some prolonged and extended outages."
Although Irma has now been downgraded to a tropical cyclone, it is still bringing heavy rains and strong winds to the southeast U.S., and particularly Alabama, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Georgia. The storm was about 65 miles southwest of Atlanta this morning.
The Florida Keys faced the greatest amount of destruction from Irma of any area in Florida. Florida Gov. Rick Scott flew over the area on Monday to assess the damage. "My heart goes out to the people in the Keys," said Scott, as reported by CNN. "There's devastation. I just hope everybody survived. It's horrible what we saw."
Officials are working on getting aid to those in the Keys who did not evacuate. President Trump has approved “major disaster” federal funding to be allocated to Florida which will “flow directly to Floridians impacted by Hurricane Irma and reimburs[ing] local communities and the state government to aid in response and recovery,” according to state officials.
Photo: Damaged houses are seen in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 over the Florida Keys, Florida
Photo courtesy: Matt McClain-Pool/Getty Images
Publication date: September 12, 2017