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Irma floods Jacksonville as storm heads north

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Federal Aid Approved as Irma Makes Second Landfall

More than 6.5 million Florida homes and businesses are now without power after Hurricane Irma moved through the state, according to the state's emergency management division.

Alabama Power said there were 12,000 outages mostly in the southeastern area of the state.

Florida's second biggest power company, Duke, serving the northern and central parts of the state, said it still had about 1.2 million outages Tuesday morning, according to the company's website, while Duke's outages in North and SC climbed to about 160,000.

Powerful winds from Hurricane Irma battered Florida with forecasters warning of unsafe strom surges that will lead to massive flooding across the USA state, media reports said.

Hurricane Katia, in the Gulf of Mexico, a category one storm with winds of up to 75mph, made landfall on the Mexican Gulf coast in the state of Veracruz late on Friday.

Another storm, Jose, further out in the Atlantic behind Irma, is now a category four hurricane, with winds of up to 240km/h (150mph). It is expected as a tropical storm over Columbus Monday evening.

- The Florida Forest Service has reached out to Alabama, Georgia and MS for additional post-storm crews to help clear roads and remove debris.

The National Hurricane Center has confirmed that winds will decrease to around 70 miles per hour and that the storm will continue to weaken as it moves further inland. Florida Highway Patrol officers say it's too early to determine whether or not the fatality was weather related.

More than 60,000 workers from across the United States and Canada were involved in the restoration efforts, including those from the affected companies and other utilities, said Tom Kuhn, president of the Edison Electric Institute, an industry trade group.

Sunday afternoon will prove crucial in determining Irma's impacts on the Florida peninsula and its possible strength once it reaches northern Florida and Georgia Monday.

The Florida Keys took a direct hit from Irma at one of the storm's most powerful points.

Irma is expected to strike the Florida Keys late Saturday and Sunday before moving inland, and many residents have joined a mass exodus amid increasingly dire alerts to leave.

He says there is "devastation" and he hopes everyone who stayed behind survived Irma. With wind gusts reaching 70 miles per hour, officials ordered a daytime curfew for the 112,000 residents of Lowndes County, which includes Valdosta.

"I sold the home for the land and that was the smartest decision we have ever made", said Davidow.

Many Floridians were streaming north to Georgia, and transportation officials there issued a statement Friday afternoon that long areas of congestion were occurring on segments of I-75 northbound and I-95 northbound. Before hitting Florida, Irma left at least 34 people dead in several island nations.

In one of the biggest evacuations ever ordered in the USA, about 6.3 million people in Florida - more than one-quarter of the state's population - were warned to leave, and 540,000 were directed to clear out from the Georgia coast. Nonetheless, barrier islands like Marco Island, near Naples, reported rising flood water and a loss of electricity and drinking water, authorities said. Mayor Tomás Regalado said 72 percent of the city of Miami is now without power, NPR's Hansi Lo Wang reports.

Casualties: One person died from carbon monoxide poisoning as a result of an indoor generator, according to Michael Hernandez with Miami-Dade mayor's office. "And when you compound that with Hurricane Irma, with Irma, you can imagine how that cost is going to go up".

"Heaviest damage from Marathon to Lower Keys", O'Neal said.

At a news conference Tuesday, both the FEMA administrator and acting DHS Secretary Elaine Duke avoided explicitly answering questions about whether Washington needs to focus more on climate change after Harvey and Irma.

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