Mon. 10 a.m.: Rescues under way in flooded areas of Florida
People are being rescued from flooded homes this morning south of Jacksonville, Florida, as Tropical Storm Irma pounds the state with rain and wind.
John Ward, the emergency operations manager of Clay County, says crews have pulled 46 people from flooded homes and an undetermined number are still stranded as the area’s creeks and ponds are getting record flooding.
Ward says between 400 and 500 homes received severe flood damage but there have been no serious injuries or deaths.
Irma is causing record-setting flooding in Jacksonville, Florida, as it moves over the state Monday on its way to southern Georgia.
The National Weather Service in Jacksonville says storm surge flooding exceeds the record set in 1965 during Hurricane Dora.
The city on Florida’s northeastern Atlantic coast remains under a flash flood warning until 12:45 p.m. today.
Jacksonville Sheriff’s officials warned residents not to drive through standing water, adding that in addition to flooding, there are trees and power lines down across the area.
Much of central Florida, including Orlando, suffered significant damage as Irma blew through Sunday night and into this morning.
Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs said there is widespread damage and significant power loss throughout the area.
Jacobs said approximately 300,000 residents in Orlando are without power. She also said 60 percent of the fire stations are operating on backup generators and dispatchers received 1,381 calls between Sunday at midnight and 5:45 a.m. today.
Residents are being asked to minimize usage such as flushing toilets, bathing, along with washing dishes and laundry.
Irma weakened to a tropical storm this morning, a day after hitting the state as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.
In Atlanta, airport official says there’ve been around 800 cancellations due to the threat of Irma.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport spokesman Andrew Gobeil says the airport will still be operational Monday and will monitor storm conditions.
Gobeil says the airport created an overflow parking plan to allow planes unable to land in areas such as Florida to park at the airport in Atlanta.
Atlanta’s transit system also has suspended all bus and rail service ahead of the weather conditions caused by Irma.
Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority spokesman Erik Burton says both systems will be closed today. He says officials will continue to coordinate with state and local officials along with emergency personnel to determine MARTA’s service schedule for Tuesday.