Hurricane Irma pounds Florida coastline Sunday
By Marvin Schrebe
Hurricane Irma pounded the Florida coastline Sunday as a powerful category four storm. Irma brought with it the expected power outages and as of 5:00PM Tuesday CBS News reported that two million homes have had power restored. Irma also brought with it something that officials
may not have expected as there has been a dramatic increase in the number of snake bites as people are wading or swimming in snake infested waters. CBS News reports that officials are urging people not to take chances and to avoid the flood waters if at all possible. CBS
Action News viewer Debbie Womack reported that her son killed a large snake in the Jacksonville are that had been displaced by the storm. Along with displaced wildlife Florida Department of Health officials told CBS that the flood waters contain fecal matter and other debris
that make the waters an extreme health hazard.
ABC News reports that the death toll from Hurricane Irma has risen to twelve in the USA as rescue efforts continue in Florida and other effected areas. They too report that power has been restored to around two million homes and that millions more remain without power. ABC
reports that Florida Power & Light Company has restored power to 2.3 million customers while 4 million remain without power.
The Florida Keys have been opened so evacuees can return and ABC affiliate WPLG-TV reported that many Floridians who anticipated the okay to return parked their cars along Interstate One to be sure they could get into their homes as quickly as possible. Officials told ABC
that food, water, medicine, and other supplies are still in short supply in Monroe County, which includes the Keys so officials are urging people to return slowly while distribution centers are opened.
FEMA officials estimate that 10,000 people remained in the Keys despite evacuation orders and officials want to complete search and rescue efforts.
In Miami resident Joe Kiener said he has endured numerous storms in the Caribbean but he has never endured a storm like Irma. “I’ve been in Miami for two years, which is prone to flooding, but this is completely out of the norm,” Kiener told ABC News.
The Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday that Federal Emergency Management Agency officials estimate that one-fourth of the homes in the Florida Keys have been destroyed. “It’s going to be pretty hard for those coming home,” Petrona Hernandez told the Tribune. It’s going to be
devastating to them.”
“We’ve got a lot of work to do but we’re going to come together,” the Chicago Tribune quoted Governor Rick Scott as saying. “We’re going to get this state rebuilt.”