Irma weakens into a tropical storm but keeps causing misery

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A road is partially blocked by a tree downed in the high winds from Hurricane Irma on September 11, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

Meteorologist Simon Brewer posted a video on Sunday morning of what happened after his fellow meteorologist Justin Drake got out of his auto and came face-to-face with Hurricane Irma in Key West, Florida.

"Right now, we are anxious about lives, not cost", Trump said after returning from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland where he monitored the storm and met with his Cabinet.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) use a measure called Accumulated Cyclone Energy (ACE) to measure the power of hurricanes.

Officials permitted some residents to return to their island homes Tuesday.

Having ploughed through several Caribbean islands and deluged Florida as a hurricane, Irma battered the states of South Carolina, Georgia and Alabama with heavy rain on Monday.

We now have tropical storm warnings in effect across East Alabama (counties along and east of I-65).

"My heart goes out to the people in the Keys", Florida Governor Rick Scott said Monday after flying over the islands.

Florida Highway Patrol tweeted that "Now is NOT the time to go sightseeting" in Jacksonville, and that risky conditions still persist throughout the city.

We're going to get this across our whole state, because it's so big. Tornadoes are possible in northeast Florida, and southeastern portions of Georgia and SC through tonight.

The deadly hurricane has officially weakened into a tropical storm, however still boasts 96km/h winds moving north as it tracks into the state of Georgia - where nearly one million homes are without power. It also spread misery into Georgia and SC as it moved inland with winds at 50 miles per hour, causing flooding and power outages. The Florida Keys were hit particularly hard by Irma, with reports of massive damage caused from a combination of wind, rain, and surge.

The 400 mile-wide storm blew ashore in the mostly cleared-out Florida Keys, then marched up its western coast, its punishing winds extending clear across to Miami and West Palm Beach on the Atlantic side.

Irma made landfall over the Keys shortly before 9:30 a.m. on Sunday.

NBC 6 helicopter footage from Monday morning showed homes damaged and roadways under water in the upper Keys and other parts of South Florida. More than one million residents have no power. Forecasters say storm surge could begin as early as Sunday evening and will be at its peak Monday morning. "This is a storm of enormous destructive power, and I ask everyone in the storm's path to pay heed to all instructions from government officials", Trump said. Irma could eventually leave millions of homes in the state without electricity, experts said.

- In Miami-Dade County, police said they arrested 28 people for burglary and looting. Mobile home residents and Florida evacuees camping in RVs were urged to head to one of seven storm shelters in the area.

The National Weather Service in Atlanta issued a tropical storm watch for the area Monday and Tuesday.