Hurricane Irma pummels Florida; 'This one scares me'

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The storm was still hurling 65 miles per hour winds Monday, pummeling cities in northeast Florida that had not expected to feel its full wrath.

"I just hope everyone survived", Gov. Rick Scott said.

- More than 17,000 customers have already lost power in Savannah, Georgia.

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

The massive storm triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people before it made two landfalls in the state Sunday.

Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone, according to the AP.

Irma made landfall in the US on Sunday at 9:10 a.m. ET at Cudjoe Key, Florida, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center said.

Irma has killed at least 20 people so far, leaving a trail of destruction in the Caribbean.

With about 3 million people, the Tampa Bay metropolitan area is the second-most populous in the state. "What's going to happen now?" Florida has long dealt with hurricanes, including a stretch of eight hurricanes in two years while Jeb Bush was governor, but Irma's wide reach has proved daunting.

The National Hurricane Center still has the powerful hurricane moving up the western coast of the Florida Peninsula and traking toward southwest Georgia toward Columbus and continuing a northwest path from there. "Let's just say a prayer we hope we make it through".

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In the video Drake, who had previously appeared on The Weather Channel series Storm Riders, can clearly be seen struggling to maintain his balance as winds whip against him.

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're asking folks to be patient and remain sheltered in place", said St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles. Its outer bands were also blowing into Georgia, where the storm's center was expected to arrive later in the day.

CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said the severity of the storm surge depended on which side of the storm Tampa was on.

Trees and branches are seen after being knocked down by the high winds as Hurricane Irma arrives on September 10 in Miami.

The storm is still expected to travel through the state Georgia, into Alabama, and then into the Mid-South, based on the latest projections.

People in the heavily populated Tampa-St.

Before slamming into to the United States, Irma hit Cuba late Friday as a Category 5 hurricane.

As the storm headed for Georgia, the city of Atlanta - hundreds of kilometres from any coast, almost 1,000km north of the place where Irma first hit the mainland - was placed under its first-ever tropical storm warning.