Hurricane Irma strikes Florida and causes blackouts

Updated 2017-09-11 10:30:44 Xinhua
A tree is toppled onto a car after being knocked down by strong winds as hurricane Irma arrives, in Miami, Florida, the United States, on Sept. 10, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

A tree is toppled onto a car after being knocked down by strong winds as hurricane Irma arrives, in Miami, Florida, the United States, on Sept. 10, 2017. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Powerful Hurricane Irma roared into Florida with 130 mph winds and knocked out power to more than 3 million homes and businesses in Florida on Sunday.

Full restoration of service could take weeks, government officials said.

Irma hit Florida on Sunday morning as a dangerous Category 4 after tearing through a few Caribbean islands, but picked up momentum again as it crossed the water between the islands and the continent.

According to projections, the hurricane will sweep through the entire state of Florida in the following days before entering Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

Local authorities have issued mandatory evacuation orders for all or part of the three southernmost counties in Florida, but some residents have decided to stay and ride out the storm.

Gas and water have largely dried up as locals scrambled to stock up, and flights out of Miami International Airport have been mostly canceled.

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