$1B OK’d for Puerto Rico hurricane aid, but governor says he’ll seek more

Federal aid began pouring into Puerto Rico on Saturday, welcomed by local officials who praised the Trump administration’s response to the devastating effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria.

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In northwest Puerto Rico, people began returning to their homes after a spillway eased pressure on a dam that cracked after more than a foot of rain fell in the wake of the hurricane.

The opening of the island’s main port in San Juan allowed 11 ships to bring in 1.6 million gallons of water, 23,000 cots, dozens of generators and food. Dozens more shipments are expected in upcoming days.

The federal aid effort is racing to stem a growing humanitarian crisis in towns left without fresh water, fuel, electricity or phone service.

Officials with FEMA, the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which is in charge of the relief effort, said they would take satellite phones to all of Puerto Rico’s towns and cities, more than half of which were cut off following Maria’s devastating crossing of Puerto Rico on Wednesday.

The island’s infrastructure was in sorry shape long before Maria struck. A $73 billion debt crisis has left agencies like the state power company broke. As a result the power company abandoned most basic maintenance in recent years, leaving the island subject to regular blackouts.

A federal control board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances authorized up to $1 billion in local funds to be used for hurricane response, but Gov. Ricardo Rossello said he would ask for more.

“We’re going to request waivers and other mechanisms so Puerto Rico can respond to this crisis,” he said. “Puerto Rico will practically collect no taxes in the next month.”

U.S. Rep. Nydia Velazquez of New York said she will request a one-year waiver from the Jones Act, a federal law blamed for driving up prices on Puerto Rico by requiring cargo shipments there to move only on U.S. vessels as a means of supporting the U.S. maritime industry.

“We will use all our resources,” Velazquez said. “We need to make Puerto Rico whole again. These are American citizens.”

Meanwhile, a group of anxious mayors arrived in San Juan to meet with Rossello to present a long list of items they urgently need. The north coastal town of Manati had run out of fuel and fresh water, Mayor Jose Sanchez Gonzalez said.

“Hysteria is starting to spread. The hospital is about to collapse. It’s at capacity,” he said, crying. “We need someone to help us immediately.”

POWERLESS PUERTO RICO’S STORM CRISIS DEEPENS WITH DAM THREAT

The death toll from Maria in Puerto Rico was at least 10, including two police officers who drowned in floodwaters in the western town of Aguada. That number was expected to climb as officials from remote towns continued to check in with officials in San Juan.

Authorities in the town of Vega Alta on the north coast said they had been unable to reach an entire neighborhood called Fatima, and were particularly worried about residents of a nursing home.

“I need to get there today,” Mayor Oscar Santiago told the Associated Press. “Not tomorrow, today.”

Rossello said Maria would clearly cost more than the last major storm to wallop the island, Hurricane George in September 1998. “This is without a doubt the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico,” he said.

A dam upstream of the towns of Quebradillas and Isabela in northwest Puerto Rico was cracked but had not burst by Saturday afternoon as the water continued to pour out of rain-swollen Lake Guajataca. Federal officials said Friday that 70,000 people, the number who live in the surrounding area, would have to be evacuated. But Javier Jimenez, mayor of the nearby town of San Sebastian, said he believed the number was far smaller.

Secretary of Public Affairs Ramon Rosario said about 300 families were in harm’s way.

The governor said there is “significant damage” to the dam and authorities believe it could give way at any moment. “We don’t know how long it’s going to hold. The integrity of the structure has been compromised in a significant way,” Rossello said.

The 345-yard (316-meter) dam, which was built around 1928, holds back a man-made lake covering about 2 square miles (5 square kilometers). More than 15 inches (nearly 40 centimeters) of rain from Maria fell on the surrounding mountains, swelling the reservoir.

Officials said 1,360 of the island’s 1,600 cellphone towers were downed, and 85 percent of above-ground and underground phone and internet cables were knocked out. With roads blocked and phones dead, officials said, the situation may worsen.

“We haven’t seen the extent of the damage,” Rossello told reporters in the capital. Rossello couldn’t say when power might be restored.

Maj. Gen. Derek P. Rydholm, deputy to the chief of the Air Force Reserve, said mobile communications systems were being flown in, but acknowledged “it’s going to take a while” before people in Puerto Rico will be able to communicate with their families outside the island.

The island’s electric grid was in sorry shape long before Maria struck. The territory’s $73 billion debt crisis has left agencies like the state power company broke. It abandoned most basic maintenance in recent years, leaving the island subject to regular blackouts.

Rosello said he was distributing 250 satellite phones from FEMA to mayors across the island to re-establish contact.

At least 31 lives in all have been lost around the Caribbean, including at least 15 on hard-hit Dominica. Haiti reported three deaths; Guadeloupe, two; and the Dominican Republic, one.

Across Puerto Rico, more than 15,000 people are in shelters, including some 2,000 rescued from the north coastal town of Toa Baja.

Some of the island’s 3.4 million people planned to head to the U.S. to temporarily escape the devastation. At least in the short term, though, the soggy misery will continue: Additional rain ‚ÄĒ up to 6 inches (15 centimeters) ‚ÄĒ is expected through Saturday.

In San Juan, Neida Febus wandered around her neighborhood with bowls of cooked rice, ground meat and avocado, offering food to the hungry. The damage was so extensive, the 64-year-old retiree said, that she didn’t think the power would be turned back on until Christmas.

“This storm crushed us from one end of the island to the other,” she said.

Hour-long lines formed at the few gas stations that reopened on Friday and anxious residents feared power could be out for weeks ‚ÄĒ or even months ‚ÄĒ and wondered how they would cope.

“I’m from here. I believe we have to step up to the task. If everyone leaves, what are we going to do? With all the pros and the cons, I will stay here,” Israel Molina, 68, who lost roofing from his San Juan mini-market to the storm, said, and then paused. “I might have a different response tomorrow.”

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

Courtesy, Fox News

Hurricane Maria hits Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria, the second megastorm to hit the Caribbean this month, has caused widespread damage in Puerto Rico after pummeling the islands of Dominica and Guadeloupe. Thousands are without power.

Watch video02:13

Still-powerful hurricane Maria pummels Puerto Rico

Hurricane Maria blasted through Puerto Rico on Wednesday as the strongest hurricane to hit the US territory in nearly 90 years, wreaking havoc across the island as it advanced.

Packing winds of 250 kilometers per hour (155 miles per hour), the Category 4 storm downed communication towers, damaged homes and burst river banks as it released over 50 centimeters (20 inches) of rain, according to local media.

El Nuevo Dia, a local newspaper, said electricity was out across the island of 3.4 million people. More than 4,400 people were in shelters by late Tuesday, the territory’s Governor Ricardo Rossello said.

“We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history,” he said. He nevertheless tried¬†to reassure the population:¬†“We are stronger than any hurricane. Together, we will rebuild.”

Rossello asked US President Donald Trump to declare a disaster zone on the island, a move that would allow the territory to access federal emergency relief funds.

Trump has yet to respond to the request, but offered his support on Twitter: “Puerto Rico being hit hard by new monster Hurricane. Be careful, our hearts are with you- will be there to help!”

Watch video01:30

Second megastorm hits Caribbean

Hurricane Maria is expected to hit the Dominican Republic later today.

Dominica incommunicado

The storm’s eye had passed over St. Croix in the Virgin Islands overnight, bringing hours of hurricane force winds. Hundreds of islanders¬†left their homes and fled to shelters. The small island was also battered by Hurricane Irma just two weeks ago.

Maria also roared across Dominica earlier on Tuesday, causing widespread damage and knocking out virtually all communication towers.

Read more: Hurricane Maria rolls over Dominica

Speaking from New York, Dominica’s Consul General¬†Barbara Dailey¬†said¬†she had lost contact with the island at around 4 a.m. Eastern Time (0800 UTC). The latest news she had received from officials in Dominica was that around 70 percent of homes had lost their roofs, including her own.

“I lost everything,” she told The Associated Press news agency. “As a Category 5 it would be naive not to expect any [injuries]¬†but I don’t know how many.”

Dominica’s internet service appeared to have gone completely offline by midday on Tuesday, according to Akamai Technologies, a company that tracks the status of the internet around the world.

The Ross University School of Medicine in Dominica also reported a widespread loss of communication and internet access, while relatives of students reported that they had lost all contact with their loved ones by Monday evening, as Hurricane Maria was bearing down on the island.

Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sent out a number of dramatic Facebook posts on Monday night as Maria blew over the island before power was cut off.

“The winds are merciless! We shall survive by the grace of God,” Skerrit posted, before describing how he could hear the sound of steel roofs being torn off houses, including his own. In his last message, he made an appeal for international aid, writing: “We will need help, my friends, we will need help of all kinds.”

Read more:  Caribbean recovers slowly as more storms threaten

A motorist drives on the flooded waterfront in Fort-de-France, on the French Caribbean island of Martinique | Martinique (Getty Images/AFP/L. Chamoiseau)Although damage appeared minimal, both Martinique and Guadeloupe faced severe flooding in the wake of Hurricane Maria

Martinique and Guadeloupe: 40 percent of homes without power

North of Dominica, Hurricane Maria also hit the French islands of Martinique and Guadeloupe hard.

French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said on Tuesday that at least 80,000 households in Guadeloupe and 70,000 in Martinique had been left without power –¬†just under half of all homes across the two islands. However, it appeared the¬†two French islands did not suffer heavy damage.

Maria claimed its first victim in Guadeloupe, where one person was killed and another two were reported missing. Three people were wounded in Martinique, including one seriously, according to Collomb.

The storm comes barely two weeks after Hurricane Irma pounded the Caribbean and Florida, killing around 60 people and leaving hundreds of thousands of people homeless.

Karte Infografik Hurricane Maria ENG (DW)

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Into the eye of the storm

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Caribbean recovers slowly as more storms threaten

Recovery in the Caribbean following Hurricane Irma is slow and more storms are on the way. Cuba was badly hit and a UN program has been launched to help feed those affected. Housing renewal is a priority.

Damage from Hurricane Irma in Havana

The United Nations’ World Food Program (WFP) said on Saturday it was launching a $5.7-million (5.2-million euro) operation in Cuba to help feed 700,000 people in areas¬†most affected by Hurricane Irma, which hit the northern coastline of the Caribbean’s largest island last weekend.

“This hurricane just went down the entire coastline, the¬†volume of impact is just unprecedented,” WFP Executive Director¬†David Beasley said during a visit to Havana, after meeting with¬†Vice President Miguel Diaz-Canel.

Hitting the¬†northern coastline of the Caribbean’s largest island, Irma’s winds removed roofs, wrecked the power grid and damaged crops.

Irma was one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century and the first Category 5 hurricane to make landfall in Cuba since 1932.

Sandbags holding back flood water in HavanaSandbags holding back flood water in Havana

 

Housing replacements

In a rare media briefing, city authorities said they were prioritizing Havana’s longstanding housing needs.¬†Euclides Santos, in charge of Havana housing, said that about 50,000 families in total were in need of new housing.

Santos said a plan had been put in place in 2012 to repair and renew housing.¬†“We have delivered 10,000 or so homes so far to people in shelters which means the program is achieving results,” he said. People have been living in communal shelters for many years as the state was unable to fund housing due to financial problems caused by an economic crisis in Cuba after the fall of the Soviet Union and consequences of the US trade embargo.

“There is a strategy to reduce the time families have to spend in these places,” Santos said, adding that around 7,000 people were living in Havana’s 109 shelters. About 25 percent of buildings were in “bad or regular” shape due to the effects of climate, lack of maintenance and the passage of time.

Watch video01:09

Cuba copes with the aftermath of Irma

More bad weather on the way

There were severe weather forecasts from storms which had already hit the Caribbean and some new ones on the way.

Baja California Sur state was readying shelters on Saturday, canceling classes and a military parade and a tropical storm warning was given out for Los Cabos due to Hurricane Norma.

Hurricane Jose was moving north out at sea but threatening heavy surf along the US East Coast.

Tropical storm Maria was expected to strengthen into a hurricane and move towards Caribbean islands already hit by Hurricane Irma, including  Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat. It has been forecast to approach the Leeward Islands on Tuesday.

Relief efforts

The French-Dutch island of St Martin was facing problems as fresh running water supplies had still to be restored.

The French minister for overseas affairs, Annick Girardin, said on Saturday¬†“There is an existing problem on the issue of contaminated water, the issue of trash, basically the issue of hygiene.”¬†¬†In poorer neighbourhoods where many families were not able to evacuate, residents fear the spread of mosquitoes which can carry diseases such as Zika and dengue fever.

For the Dutch side of the island, the Dutch Red Cross said Saturday that it had collected 13.3 million euros following a weeklong donation drive.

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Stunned by the destruction wrought by Hurricane Irma

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6 dead at Florida nursing home due to intense heat, loss of power after Irma

More than 100 people were evacuated from a Florida nursing home Wednesday after six people were reported dead at the Hollywood facility, whose residents were suffering from intense heat caused by a lack of electricity after deadly Hurricane Irma swept through.

Irma may have moved on from Florida, but lingering dangers caused by the storm, including carbon monoxide poisoning and heat-related incidents caused by a lack of air conditioning, remain in the Sunshine State, as millions wait for power to be restored.

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Officials in Hollywood said at least six people died and 115 people were evacuated from Rehabilitation Center at Hollywood Hills, located about 20 miles north of Miami.

“We‚Äôre conducting a criminal investigation inside,” Hollywood Police Chief Tom Sanchez said. “We believe at this time they may be related to the loss of power in the storm. We‚Äôre conducting a criminal investigation, not ruling anything out at this time.‚ÄĚ

Sanchez said investigators believe the deaths were heat-related, adding it was a “sad event.”

Broward County Mayor Barbara Sharief confirmed three people were pronounced dead at the facility. City officials said three additional people later died at the hospital.

The Hollywood Police and Hollywood Fire Rescue received a call around 4 a.m. at the facility, and found “several patients in varying degrees of medical distress,” city officials said.

Sanchez said officers have been assigned to check 42 assisted living facilities and nursing homes in Hollywood¬†to “make sure they are in sufficient care of the elderly.”

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The nursing home did have a generator, but it is unclear if the generator was functional, WSVN reported.

Temperatures in Hollywood were expected to be around 86degrees on Wednesday — but feel about 10 degrees warmer.

A caseworker named Ed, who declined to give his last name, came to the facility Wednesday morning to check on his 80-year-old dementia patient. He told Fox News he isn’t sure yet if she’s one of the dead.

“I’m very concerned. I’m like a family member to her,” he said.

Meanwhile, in Central Florida, three people were found dead inside an Orlando home Tuesday from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning, officials said.

Orange County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Jeff Williams told The Associated Press a deputy responded to the the home following a 911 call from what sounded like a juvenile. The deputy was overcome by fumes while approaching the home and called for fire rescue.

Firefighters discovered two people dead inside the house, FOX35 Orlando reported. Another person, who tried to get out of the home, was found dead on the front lawn, while four others from inside the home were taken to a nearby hospital. Rescue workers found a portable gasoline generator running inside the home.

Further north in Daytona Beach, police said one person died and three others were being treated at a hospital Wednesday for carbon monoxide poisoning from an electric generator.

The Daytona Beach Fire Department said on Twitter a generator had been running inside the home.

A neighbor told FOX35 Orlando generators were not allowed in the community, and officials across Florida are warning people to keep generators outside homes.

Carbon monoxide from a generator is also suspected in the death of a man in Miami, while authorities say another dozen people were treated for carbon monoxide-related illnesses on Tuesday in Polk and Brevard counties.

CUSTOMER INQUIRIES CRASH FLORIDA UTILITY’S WEBSITE AND APP

One Miami-area apartment building was evacuated Tuesday after authorities determined a lack of power made it unsafe for elderly tenants, while officers arrived at another retirement community to help people stranded on upper floors who didn’t have access to working elevators.

Elsewhere, a South Florida townhouse that weathered the storm was gutted by fire when power was restored, which caused the stove to ignite items left on the cooktop.

The number of deaths blamed on Irma in Florida climbed to 13 with the carbon monoxide deaths, in addition to four in South Carolina and two in Georgia. At least 37 people were killed in the Caribbean.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but everybody’s going to come together,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. “We’re going to get this state rebuilt.”

The number of people without electricity in the steamy late-summer heat dropped to 9.5 million ‚ÄĒ just under half of Florida’s population. Utility officials warned it could take 10 days or more for power to be fully restored. About 110,000 people remained in shelters across the state.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtesy, Fox News

FEMA: Hurricane Irma Destroyed One-Quarter of Homes in the Florida Keys

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(KEY LARGO, Fla.) ‚ÄĒ Search-and-rescue teams made their way into the Florida Keys’ farthest reaches Tuesday, while crews labored to repair the single washed-out highway connecting the islands and rush aid to Hurricane Irma’s victims. Federal officials estimated one-quarter of all homes in the Keys were destroyed.

Two days after Irma roared into the island chain with 130 mph winds, residents were allowed to return to the parts of the Keys closest to Florida’s mainland. But the full extent of the death and destruction there remained a question mark because communications and access were cut off in places.

“It’s going to be pretty hard for those coming home,” said Petrona Hernandez, whose concrete home on Plantation Key with 35-foot walls was unscathed, unlike others a few blocks away. “It’s going to be devastating to them.”

Elsewhere in Florida, life inched closer to normal, with some flights again taking off, many curfews lifted and major theme parks reopening. Cruise ships that extended their voyages and rode out the storm at sea began returning to port with thousands of passengers.

The number of people without electricity in the late-summer heat dropped to around 10 million ‚ÄĒ half of Florida’s population. Officials warned it could take 10 days or more for power to be fully restored. About 110,000 remained in shelters across Florida.

Seven deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, along with four in South Carolina and two in Georgia. At least 35 were killed in the Caribbean.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do, but everybody’s going to come together,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said. “We’re going to get this state rebuilt. This state is a state of strong resilient people.”

Irma’s rainy remnants, meanwhile, pushed through Alabama and Mississippi after drenching Georgia. Flash-flood watches and warnings were issued around the Southeast.

While nearly all of Florida was engulfed by the 400-mile-wide storm, the Keys appeared to be the hardest hit. Drinking water was cut off, all three of the islands’ hospitals were closed, and the supply of gas was extremely limited.

Officials said it was not known how many people ignored evacuation orders to stay behind in the Keys.

Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said that while the assessment of damage was constantly changing, preliminary estimates suggested that 25 percent of the homes in the Keys were destroyed and 65 percent sustained major damage.

“Basically every house in the Keys was impacted,” he said.

An aircraft carrier was positioned off Key West to help in the search-and-rescue effort. And crews worked to repair two washed-out, 300-foot sections of U.S. 1, the lone highway from the mainland, and check the safety of the 42 bridges linking the islands.

Authorities stopped people and checked for documentation such as proof of residency or business ownership before allowing them back into the Upper Keys, including Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada.

The Lower Keys ‚ÄĒ including the chain’s most distant and most populous island, Key West, with 27,000 people ‚ÄĒ were still off-limits, with a roadblock in place where the road was washed out.

Corey Smith, a UPS driver who rode out the hurricane in Key Largo, said it was a relief that many buildings on the island escaped major damage. But he said conditions were still not good, with branches blocking roads and supermarkets closed.

“They’re shoving people back to a place with no resources,” he said by telephone. “It’s just going to get crazy pretty quick.”

Lower Keys resident Leyla Nedin said she doesn’t plan to return any time soon to her home near where Irma came ashore on Cudjoe Key.

“We are still without water, power, sewer, gas and cell service,” she said. “My concern is that even if we get to go in to the Lower Keys, our fragile infrastructure could be even more compromised.”

In a parting blow as Irma exited Florida, it caused record flooding close to the Georgia line in the Jacksonville area, where the sheriff’s office reported rescuing at least 356 people.

On its Twitter account, the sheriff’s office said it hopes “people who had their lives saved yesterday will take evacuation orders seriously in the future.”

Eddie Hinan waded through knee-deep water to reach his flooded apartment in the San Marco neighborhood of Jacksonville on Tuesday, staying just long enough to grab a plastic bag of clean clothes. His girlfriend, Deborah Smith, waited behind, struck by the devastation around her.

“I just started crying,” she said. “I already knew it was gone, the apartment and everything in it. We lost everything.”

Courtesy, TIME

Hurricane Irma leaves millions without power in Florida as evacuees return home

Floridians are returning from their¬†Irma-induced exodus on Tuesday to find wrecked homes, food shortages and widespread power outages — and now face a long and daunting road to recovery.

Around 15 million people remain without electricity across the state, according to Chris Krebs, Assistant Secretary for Infrastructure Protection at the Department of Homeland Security.

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“I do ask that everyone have patience,” Krebs said at a news conference Tuesday morning. “This is going to take some time to restore.”

Due to the extent of the damage caused by Irma, Krebs said “this will be a situation about rebuilding,” instead of simply repairing damaged power infrastructure.

Communication also remains an issue on some barrier islands, due to cellular disruptions, Krebs said.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke said nearly 22,000 federal personnel are in Florida to handle the “long and challenging road ahead.‚ÄĚ

“A storm of this magnitude needs team effort,” she said.

Displaced residents and business owners from Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada were allowed to return for their first glimpse of the damage to their homes and offices on Tuesday morning.

Those people from the Lower Keys, however, faced a longer wait, with a roadblock in place where the highway to farther-away islands was washed out by the storm.

HURRICANE IRMA LEAVES 1 MILLION GEORGIA RESIDENTS WITHOUT ELECTRICITY

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday the Florida Keys bridges appeared to escape serious damage from Irma, but more time is needed to finish inspections.

Gov. Rick Scott said officials continue to check the 42 Overseas Highway bridges that link the Florida Keys together. He said none appear seriously damaged but that “we’re not sure that on the bridges we should be putting on significant weight.”

Key West City Commissioner Sam Kaufman said late Monday two sections of U.S. 1 washed away from Irma will be repaired by the end of the week. The National Guard is expected to arrive in Key West to distribute water and food, which are at “critically low supplies,” according to Kaufman.

Hungry residents across the state are also looking for whatever restaurants and stores still have power to stock up on supplies, and whose food hasn’t spoiled due to a lack of refrigeration.

Miami Beach residents were allowed to return their homes Tuesday to assess damage done by Irma, sparking heavy traffic by 7 a.m. at police blocks.

Among them were Lyle and Lydia Calhoun. The couple, originally from South Carolina, has a condo in the Biscayne Bay area and were eager to return home.

‚ÄúWe‚Äôve been waiting for an hour,‚ÄĚ Lydia told Fox News. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôre tired, we‚Äôre dirty and we want to go home.‚ÄĚ

A handful of businesses, including several Walgreens and 7-Elevens, had reopened with more stores expected to join throughout the day.

‚ÄúMiami Beach will be up and running soon,‚ÄĚ resident Scott Looker, who had taken his dog ‚ÄúDiggie Smalls‚ÄĚ for a walk near the Port of Miami, told Fox News. ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve done it before and we‚Äôll do it again.‚ÄĚ

Lack of widespread working air conditioning comes at an inopportune time, as temperatures sit in the mid-80s and feel nearly 10 degrees warmer.

In Key West, Kaufman said the city is also desperately low on fuel, and is working with the military for emergency supplies.

Key West resident Laura Keeney was waiting in a Miami hotel until it was safe to return home, and she was anxious to hear more about her apartment complex. Her building manager told her there was flooding there, but further updates were hard to come by because power and cell phone service have been down on the island.

“They told me there is definitely water in the downstairs apartment, which is me,” Keeney told the Associated Press.

As sweltering tropical heat returned across the peninsula as Irma moved northward, people in the Tampa Bay area fired up generators or headed outdoors to sit outside to pass the time awaiting for their lights to come back on.

“It’s a luxury right? It’s a luxury. Big luxury,” Jennifer Blaskvitch¬†told FOX 13 Tampa. “I know we pay for it but when it goes out, you expect it to be back quick. But, I understand the circumstances. It could have been a lot worse. So, you just have to be patient.”

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Florida Power and Light said its working to restore power as quickly as possible, staging hundreds of trucks and crews from across the country at South Florida sites, WSVN reported.

‚ÄúEven though we are restoring power, people need to be prepared for some prolonged and extended outages,‚ÄĚ FPL President and CEO Eric Silagy said. ‚ÄúThere are pockets of some real destruction.‚ÄĚ’

The power company said Tuesday the East Coast of the state is estimated to have power restored by the end of weekend except in areas hit by tornados, flooding, and severe damage.

On the state’s West Coast, Florida Power said power is estimated to be restored by Sept. 22, except in areas hit by tornadoes, flooding, and severe damage.

The remnants of Irma were blowing through Alabama and Mississippi  on Tuesday after drenching Georgia.

Six deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, along with three in Georgia and one in South Carolina. At least 35 people were killed in the Caribbean.

Around the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, where Irma rolled through early Monday, damage appeared modest, and Florida Gov. Rick Scott said effects on the southwest coast, including in Naples and Fort Myers, was not as bad as feared.

Still, Scott predicted that recovery could take a long time in many areas.

“I know for our entire state, especially the Keys, it’s going to be a long road,” he said.

Fox News’ Barnini Chakraborty and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

Courtesy, Fox News

Glass panels plummet from 85-story Miami building after Irma hits

Glass panels plunged from a high-rise building in Miami on Sunday, a clear sign of looming dangers after the brunt of Hurricane Irma slammed into South Florida.

At 85 stories tall, the building, called the Panorama Tower, is planned to be the city’s tallest building. Video showed six-foot glass panels falling from the side of the building, expected to be 843 feet tall, and crashing to the ground below.

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The building‚Äôs construction was expected to be completed by the end of this year, according to the¬†Miami New Times¬†‚ÄĒ but that was before Hurricane Irma struck Florida.

The building’s falling glass panels were far from the only destruction Irma left inside the city.

The City of Miami joked¬†on Twitter¬†that it “Looks like #Irma made it snow in #Miami,” with a photo of white material covering the street. The tweet concludes: “Actually it’s insulation from a high rise under construction.”

Additionally, three cranes reportedly collapsed Sunday: two in downtown Miami, and one in Fort Lauderdale.

Fox News’ Bryan Llenas contributed to this report.

Courtesy, Fox News

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