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But the human toll from Irma's powerful rampage on the way to Florida continued to mount, with the Cuban government reporting that 10 people had been killed after the storm battered the island's north coast with ferocious winds and 11m waves over the weekend. "I'm not really that freaked out, it's just the storm surge I'm anxious about", said Chris.

About 310,000 of Tampa Electric's 700,000 customers were estimated to have lost power in the wake of Irma, president and CEO Gordon Gillette told CNBC Monday.

The company has said it expects millions of people to lose power, with some areas experiences prolonged outages.

The monster storm, which arrived in Florida as a Category 4 hurricane, has toppled at least three constructions cranes - two over downtown Miami and one in Fort Lauderdale.

- Almost 4 million electric customers are without power across Florida, according to utility companies.

Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm early Monday after it whipped through southwest Florida and left almost 4 million customers without power. At least 36 people were left dead in the storm's wake across the Caribbean. Officials said the arena remained in one piece, but wind-driven water leaked in at the height of the storm.

More than 6.5 million people in the state are in an evacuation zone, but it is unclear how many have taken their lives in their hands and stayed put. "What's going to happen now?"

A weakening but still potent Irma lashed Florida's Gulf Coast with tree-bending winds, pounding rain and surging surf since making landfall yesterday.

As Hurricane Irma approaches Florida the point of impact is becoming more clear and it's better news for the city of Miami but not for Tampa.

"The power's going to be out for a long time".

Emergency managers there declared "the Keys are not open for business" and warned that there was no fuel, electricity, running water or cell service and that supplies were low and anxiety high. "We have to wait till all the elements pass through", he said.

With winds at 25 to 30 miles per hour and rain coming down steadily on the drive up to Spring Hill, it brings back memories associated with other hurricanes Taylor has experienced as a Florida resident.

North-eastern Florida cities including Jacksonville were facing flash flooding, with the sheriff's office pulling residents from waist-deep water. "You've got to be patient".

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Irma's wrath is unprecedented, warning that storm surges could be deadly.

Forecasters said it could hit the heavily populated Tampa-St.

The National Weather Service in Atlanta issued a tropical storm watch for the area Monday and Tuesday. "As soon as the wind shifts direction, the water will come back quickly and continue to move inland", CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said.


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