Florida residents braced for days for Hurricane Irma, which encompassed nearly the entire peninsula as it marched north through the state. When day broke, many got their first glimpse of the storm's destruction. Some expressed relief that they'd appeared to have dodged a bullet. Others were clearly shaken by a storm more powerful than many had ever seen. The AP collects their stories here. As of Monday morning, Irma had been downgraded to a tropical storm, and a separate AP story has related details:
- Damage: Irma wreaked havoc over nearly the entire Florida peninsula, from the southernmost Keys to the Georgia line, from the Atlantic to the Gulf coasts. It swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, flooded streets, cast boats ashore, snapped power lines, and toppled construction cranes. Flooding triggered home evacuations in parts of Jacksonville in northern Florida, and caused damage in the Orlando area at the center of the state. The full breadth of the damage remains unclear, particularly in the hard-hit Keys, where communications and travel were still difficult.
- Next for Irma: Still hundreds of miles wide, the huge storm system is dumping heavy rain into southern parts of Georgia, South Carolina, and Alabama, with Mississippi and Tennessee to follow. By Monday afternoon, the former Category 5 hurricane had top sustained winds of 60mph as it continued weakening while heading into south Georgia. At 2pm EDT, the storm's core was centered about 50 miles south-southeast of Albany, Ga.
(Read more Hurricane Irma