Irma begins assault on Florida Keys

Media playback is unsupported on your device                  Media caption The north coast of Cuba was battered with winds of up to 250 kilometres an hour

Media playback is unsupported on your device Media caption The north coast of Cuba was battered with winds of up to 250 kilometres an hour

Now the entire Georgia coast is under a storm surge warning as Irma continues its destructive march north.

The storm is also being blamed for the death of a 62-year-old man in rural southwest Georgia. The tiny island of Barbuda was nearly completely flattened-locals evacuated and returned to over $100 million in property damage, a huge sum for such a small nation as Antigua and Barbuda.

The National Weather Service in Atlanta issued a tropical storm watch for the area Monday and Tuesday.

A hurricane watch was also issued for the SC coast from the Georgia line to Edisto Beach, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Charleston.

Stay with WOWT 6 News for updates on this storm.

Police blocked the entrance to the Florida Keys on Monday morning, according to the Miami Herald, to conduct rescue operations. The city urged voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas last Wednesday, before the storm hit. The National Hurricane Center continues a tropical storm warning Monday from near Georgetown into Florida.

Thankfully, Freeman said he and his family were all safe after the storm passed, but "it is still hard".

Gusts topping 90 miles per hour whipped Miami on Sunday, knocking out power to more than 750,000 customers in the Miami-Dade area.

Georgia reported more than 570,000 homes and businesses without electricity, and there were 80,000 in SC.

More than three million people in Florida were in the dark Sunday night after Irma pounded parts of the state's Gulf Coast with winds of more than 200 kilometers per hour.

Nathan Deal expanded a state of emergency declaration to cover all 159 counties in the state as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida.

As of about noon, six of 42 bridges in the Keys had been inspected by the Florida Deptartment of Transportation, and none had been cleared of debris and downed power lines enough to be re-opened to vehicles. All around the region, more than 7 million homes and businesses lost power at one point from Irma's passage, the brunt of the outages occurring in Florida.

First responders went back on the road around midnight to run calls for service and perform life-saving efforts, but officials still have no information on the number of people injured or killed by Hurricane Irma. "We are trying to do everything that we can to get people safe", he said. The hurricane is one of the most powerful and longest-lasting on record. It left more than 20 people dead across the Caribbean and as it moved north over the Gulf of Mexico's bathtub-warm water of almost 90 degrees, it was expected to regain strength.