Millions of people are facing a long, difficult road to recovery after Irma’s week-long deadly rampage through the Caribbean and southeastern United States.
The storm killed at least 10 people in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, and another 38 across the Antilles islands. It had also left more than 15 million people in Florida and Georgia without power as of Tuesday morning.
Executing life-sustaining operations, restoring power and clearing debris are top priorities, said Brock Long, administrator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency. “This is going to be a frustrating event,” Long said Tuesday during a news conference. “It’s going to take some time to allow people back in their homes, particularly in the Florida Keys.”
Jacksonville, Florida, was hit with an unprecedented storm surge Monday, knocking out traffic lights and closing down bridges and roadways. More than 350 people were rescued from the flooding, prompting local law enforcement to request residents take evacuations “more seriously” in the future.
In Fort Lauderdale, a layer of sand brought in by Irma covered streets more than a block or two off the beach on Tuesday. Police were blocking access to Barrier Island to everyone, except residents, local business owners and clean-up crews. The only open restaurant in the heart of the city Tuesday appeared to be a pizza shop.
Many Florida airports resumed operations on Tuesday, including Jacksonville International Airport and Tampa International Airport. There was also limited service to Miami International Airport, Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Orlando International Airport. (AP)
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