Nearly 6 million Florida residents were without electricity Monday morning—one of the biggest outages in U.S. history—as Hurricane Irma continued its record-breaking roar northward. As of 5 a.m., the National Hurricane Center said that even though Irma had dropped to Category 1 strength, there is still a danger of “life-threatening” wind, rain, and storm surge flooding in parts of Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina. The eye of the storm is just 60 miles north of Tampa, but it will likely reach Georgia in just a few hours. Jacksonville reported the storm surge along the St. Johns River had broken its record for floodwaters. The storm’s westward tack may have spared Florida of its worst-case scenario, and Bloomberg News reports new damage forecasts resulted a significant drop in estimated costs from Irma—down to $50 billion from $200 billion, according to Enki Research.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 11, 2017