Storm Surge Swallows Jacksonville With Record Floods

Irma’s girth and path made for a bizarre Florida storm surge

Irma’s girth and path made for a bizarre Florida storm surge

Jacksonville - the largest city geographically in the country - is grappling with a record storm surge and will get slammed with severe flash flooding before Irma continues her destructive northward march to Georgia and beyond.

The weather service is asking residents to move higher in their buildings if possible.

"We have already surpassed historic flood levels that surpass levels seen in 1864", said National Weather Service meteorologist Angie Enyedi. According to CBS affiliate WJAX-TV, the water level is expected to rise another 1 to 2 feet. Hours of strong winds blowing the ocean inland, and preventing water from the St. Johns River from escaping back into the ocean, helped worsen the flood situation in Jacksonville. "A t-shirt, anything white", the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office posted on its Facebook page.

Presently there is a Flash Flood Emergency, as water is rising to around three feet. Winds will then switch to the south and push water into downtown Jacksonville. Duncan says the city manager and mayor plan to assess the amount of damage Irma caused to the area, and hope to determine the safety for residents who made a decision to wait out the storm.

Irma weakened to a tropical storm Monday morning, a day after hitting the state as a Category 4 hurricane. With rough conditions persisting across the state, many communities in Irma's wake feared what destruction would be revealed as daylight allowed authorities to canvass neighborhoods.

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- 5.8 million customers are without power across Florida, state emergency officials said. More than 100,000 were in the dark in Georgia.

- In Venice, Florida, the water plant was shut down after it was damaged by the storm.

Irma's impacts were spread far and wide along Florida's Atlantic coast Monday morning.

- Storm surge warnings in Florida, Georgia and SC mean "there is a danger of life-threatening inundation", the hurricane center said.

It killed at least 26 people before leaving the Caribbean for Florida. Its maximum sustained winds were 105 miles per hour.

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