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Hurricane Irma Turns Sights on Georgia
USAgNet - 09/11/2017

Extremely dangerous Hurricane Irma first crashed into the Florida Keys on Sunday morning and then made a second landfall on Marco Island on Florida's west coast Sunday afternoon, unleashing violent wind gusts up to 142 mph and storm-surge flooding. According to the Washington Post, the storm was plowing up Florida's west coast Monday morning and, once it's over, forecasters feared that this storm will go down as one of the worst in the state's history.

At 5 a.m., the storm was centered 60 miles north of Tampa. Its eyewall -- containing the storm's most violent winds -- had passed northeast of Sarasota. The storm center was plowing north-northwest at 18 mph and expected to weaken as it moves along the northwestern coast of Florida.

Hurricane-force wind gusts were also quite possible on the east coast of parts of Florida into early Monday, the hurricane center said, thanks to Irma's large wind field.

Around Tampa, once the storm center passes early Monday morning, a storm surge is possible of several feet above normally dry land, potentially inundating low-lying coastal areas.

Irma's peak winds of 75 mph make it a Category 1 hurricane (down from a Category 4). The National Hurricane Center said Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical storm Monday morning and to a tropical depression by Tuesday afternoon.

Coastal waters could still rise well above normally dry land along Florida's central Gulf Coast, inundating homes, businesses and roads.

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