Hurricane Irma: Coast Guard shuts down ports in Tampa Bay area

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Hurricane Irma: Coast Guard shuts down ports in Tampa Bay area

Hurricane Irma was one of the most powerful storms ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean, becoming a Category 5 with sustained 185 mile per hour winds at one point. She has family in both Naples and Orlando.

The National Guard has positioned soldiers and equipment in Greensboro, Charlotte and Asheville to support storm response activities such as cleanup, shelter operations and supply delivery, if necessary, Cooper said.

The resource adds that a category four storm - the strength of Irma when it first struck the United States mainland - would see "trees stripped of all foliage and fruit, many trees blown over and away from property". The company updated technology - which Silagy says now allows it to pinpoint outages without customers needing to report them - and strengthened power lines and poles. "Most importantly we have got to save every life and we have got to make sure people understand it is still unsafe".

Last October, Hurricane Matthew spared Florida from experiencing its strongest side - the right side - because its center tracked along the eastern coastline of the state.

"Being in Oxford is a weird feeling", he said.

As of 8:30 a.m., Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm. "It's the first time I have not been in Florida for a major hurricane". Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to get out of the storm's path, including 6.4 million in Florida alone. That would have put the hurricane over the east coast of Florida. City manager Shawn Gillen said the waters seemed to be receding quickly, but most of the island appeared to have some level of flooding and water was in many homes. This is the peak period of the hurricane season, when most of the storms strike. "I just hope they don't go through this storm surge".

"Florida will get through this", he said. "All of the pictures and videos of Floridians out in the storm do not surprise me at all".

Britons in the path of Hurricane Irma have been warned to "have your own contingency plans in place" in case help is unable to reach them.

This means impacts will be low for central North Carolina.

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