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The Latest: 3 dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning

September 13, 2017
Associated Press

MIAMI (AP) — The Latest on Irma (all times local):

8:45 p.m.

Three people are dead from apparent carbon monoxide poisoning at a Florida home following Hurricane Irma, and four others have been hospitalized.

Orange County Sheriff's Office spokesman Jeff Williams says a deputy responded to the Orlando home Tuesday evening following a 911 call from what sounded like a juvenile. The deputy was overcome by fumes while approaching the home and called for fire rescue.

Firefighters pulled seven people from the home, three of whom died at the scene. Four others were taken to a nearby hospital in various conditions.

Rescue workers found a portable gasoline generator running inside the home.

Williamson described the victims as a multi-generational family.

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8:20 p.m.

Authorities say a Mississippi man died in a crash at a Florida intersection where the traffic signals weren't working after Hurricane Irma.

The Ocala Star-Banner reports that the 59-year-old Coffeeville, Mississippi, man died early Tuesday when his pickup truck collided with a semitrailer in Marion County. The Florida Highway Patrol says Irma had knocked out the signals.

The man was pronounced dead at the scene. His name was not immediately released.

Officials say intersections with broken traffic signals should be treated as four-way stops.

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8:20 p.m.

The cost of Hurricane Irma to Florida is at nearly $250 million.

During a Tuesday briefing, 31 state agencies have reported spending $249,815,222 on preparations and recovery efforts. The final costs could well surpass what the state spent for Hurricane Matthew last year ($268,498,784).

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7:45 p.m.

Florida officials say crews are restoring power across the state, but 9.5 million people remain without electricity.

State Emergency Management Center officials say they restored power to 1.7 million homes and businesses on Tuesday.

Of the three South Florida counties that were hit the hardest, Palm Beach is the only one where more than half have power.

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7:45 p.m.

A South Florida couple managed to make it through Hurricane Irma without major damage to their home, but a kitchen fire that broke out after power was restored gutted the town house.

Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue spokesman Mike Jachles says the man and woman from Deerfield Beach still didn't have power when they decided to go for a swim Tuesday afternoon. But the power apparently returned while they were out, causing the stove to turn on and set fire to objects on the cooking surface.

Jachles says it wasn't clear whether the stove had been left on before the power went out or had been accidentally turned on while the power was off.

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7:45 p.m.

South Florida kids could be back at school next week after having more than a week off because of Hurricane Irma.

School officials in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties all tweeted on Tuesday that they were preparing to resume classes next Monday. Broward County officials said it would depend on whether power had been restored.

Many school districts around Florida canceled classes last week in anticipation of Irma making landfall Sunday.

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7 p.m.

Miami police officers and firefighters are evacuating residents who live near a crane that collapsed in Hurricane Irma.

A city of Miami news release says evacuations were ordered Tuesday for two buildings across the street from the Gran Paraiso construction site north of downtown. The top of the crane was damaged during Sunday's storm but did not fall to the ground. Officials say it hasn't been secured since the storm.

Plaza Construction, the general contractor, has been notified that there are available hotel rooms in the areas for evacuees.

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7 p.m.

Authorities suspect a Miami man died of carbon monoxide poisoning from a generator running inside his home.

Miami-Dade Police Department Officer Robin Pinkard said Tuesday that a neighbor discovered 65-year-old David Boatswain in his home Monday morning after he didn't answer his phone. A medical examiner is investigating, but emergency responders said the home tested positive for carbon monoxide.

The fatality brings Florida's death toll to 13, and the total death toll in all areas affected by the storm to 56.

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7 p.m.

Several Royal Caribbean International cruise ships have been doing storm relief duty.

Company spokeswoman Celia de la Llama says the ship Adventure of the Seas arrived in St. Maarten on Sunday, picked up 300 visitors from various countries who had been trying to leave after Hurricane Irma hit, and dropped off provisions for residents.

Adventure was on a regular cruise from Puerto Rico but had room for the evacuees because of cancellations. The evacuees are being given the option to disembark at any of the regularly scheduled ports of call and head home from there or to continue on with the ship to Puerto Rico.

De la Llama says the ship Majesty of the Seas has picked up evacuees from the U.S. Virgin Island's St. Thomas and was scheduled to depart with them en route to Puerto Rico on Wednesday. The ship will pick up supplies in Puerto Rico, then head to St. Maarten to drop them off and load additional evacuees. The ship is scheduled to go back to San Juan on Friday to drop off the evacuees.

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7 p.m.

Former NFL player and Jacksonville, Florida, native Tim Tebow visited workers at the State Emergency Operations Center in Tallahassee, and thanked them for their efforts during Hurricane Irma.

Tebow visited with emergency workers on Tuesday. The day before, he accepted an invitation from Gov. Rick Scott to tour shelters in Duval County.

Tebow just completed his first season playing baseball for the New York Mets. Before that he played for the Denver Broncos and New York Jets. In 2008, he won the Heisman Trophy as the University of Florida's quarterback.

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5:45 p.m.

Firefighters are evacuating a Miami-area building because of the lack of power and water, saying it's not safe for the elderly tenants who live there.

Those evacuated Tuesday afternoon from the building in the Miami suburb of Coral Gables included a 97-year-old woman who had to be carried down 12 flights of stairs in a special evacuation chair.

The building has been without power since Sunday.

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5:15 p.m.

State officials are raising the number of deaths in Florida from Hurricane Irma to 12 from the previous seven. That brings the total death toll in all areas affected by the storm to 55.

McKinley Lewis is a spokesman for Florida Gov. Rick Scott. Lewis says six people died in car crashes, four while engaged in storm preparations, one was electrocuted by a downed power line, and another had a cardiac issue.

Officials have reported 37 deaths in the Caribbean, four deaths in South Carolina, and two deaths in Georgia.

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5:10 p.m.

Carbon monoxide expelled by generators has killed one man each in South Carolina and Florida, and sent two to the hospital in Florida.

Miami-Dade Police Department Officer Robin Pinkard said Tuesday that a neighbor discovered 65-year-old David Boatswain in his home Monday morning after he didn't answer his phone. A medical examiner is investigating, but emergency responders said the home tested positive for carbon monoxide.

Sumter County, South Carolina, Coroner Robert Baker Jr. said 54-year-old William McBride was pronounced dead Tuesday after he was found lifeless at his mobile home, where a generator was running inside.

Polk County, Florida, spokesman Kevin Watler says fire rescue crews have treated patients in Lakeland and Lake Alfred for carbon monoxide poisoning.

He says that in both cases the people were running generators in an enclosed garage.

Watler says the most common dangers associated with generators are carbon monoxide poisoning, electrical shock or electrocution.

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4 p.m.

U.S. Virgin Islands Police Commissioner Delroy Richards is denying reports of violent crime in the territory after Hurricane Irma.

Richards says there have been no reports of serious crime associated with the storm or its aftermath. He said there have been some arrests for curfew violations on St. Thomas.

The police commission and Gov. Kenneth Mapp said in a statement Tuesday that reports of widespread looting on St. John and the theft of firearms are also untrue.

Police spokesman Glen Dratte said there have been four confirmed deaths on St. Thomas as a result of the storm but he could not provide details.

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4 p.m.

Hurricane Irma has completely destroyed a trailer park in the Florida Keys community of Islamorada.

A visitor to Windley Key Condo Association saw mobile homes that had been ripped apart, with their rooms exposed.

The storm had scattered small and large debris around the park, including a hot tub, a 25-foot-long (8-meter-long) fishing boat, refrigerators, ice machines, washer-dryers, furniture of all types, a surfboard, and a hamster cage. The homes were covered in seaweed.

Four male residents who had ridden out the storm elsewhere returned to clear through the debris Tuesday. Shirtless and sweating, they hooked items by chain to a pickup to haul them out of the way. They said that it was the storm surge that had ripped open the homes.

When one resident who returned to check out the damage saw what was left of what had been his family's weekend home, he told his family to get back in the car and they drove away.

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3:30 p.m.

Florida's emergency management director says officials are trying to get gas flowing to stations as quickly as possible.

Bryan Koon said on Tuesday that gas is available throughout the state and that the reopening of Port Everglades and the Port of Tampa Bay should also help get more supplies to stations.

A lot also depends on getting power back to gas stations as quickly as possible, especially in South Florida where a lot of areas are still without electricity.

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3:30 p.m.

Officials at the main cruise-ship port in the Miami area have gotten the green light from the Coast Guard to allow ships to return after being stranded during Irma.

Port Everglades spokeswoman Alinda Montfort said the 3,000 passengers on Carnival Cruises' Carnival Conquest were the first to arrive Tuesday. Six-thousand passengers on Royal Caribbean's Harmony of the Seas were next in line, followed by 3,000 passengers on Carnival Cruises' Carnival Splendor.

Port Everglades is located in Broward County near Fort Lauderdale.

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3 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump will visit hurricane-stricken Florida on Thursday.

Spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not announce the specific location or locations. Trump said earlier this week that he would visit the state "very soon."

About 10 million people — half of Florida's population — remained without electricity Tuesday, two days after Hurricane Irma roared across the length of the state.

Seven deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma.

Trump visited Texas and Louisiana after Hurricane Harvey struck both states in late August.

___ 2:15 p.m.

The United Nations says it is airlifting food to stricken islands devastated by Hurricane Irma in the eastern and western Caribbean.

U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said the World Food Program is flying in 20 metric tons (22 tons) of high-energy biscuits, enough to feed nearly 17,000 people for three days. The biscuits are being sent from Haiti to a newly established hub in Antigua, where the population of Barbuda has been evacuated, and to nearby St. Martin.

He said this will be followed by "cash-based assistance" for 20,000 people on islands in the eastern Caribbean whose livelihoods have been ruined.

Dujarric told reporters at U.N. headquarters in New York on Tuesday that the World Food Program is also launching an emergency operation in the western Caribbean islands, including the Turks and Caicos, which is serving as an operational hub.

He said 10 metric tons (11 tons) of high-energy biscuits are being airlifted to the Turks and Caicos to help 8,500 vulnerable people.

Dujarric said the U.N. is also airlifting other crucial items to the eastern and western Caribbean including mobile storage units, tarpaulins, prefabs, generators and other logistics and telecommunications support equipment.

He said the World Food Program has also offered to provide food and logistical assistance to Cuba.

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2:15 p.m.

The storms' massive winds also knocked possibly thousands of baby squirrels out of their nests. By Tuesday, some animal rescue centers with squealing new patients, while other Floridians worked to save the tennis ball-sized fluff balls at home.

The Naples News Daily even posted a story about one found squealing on the trunk of an oak tree. The reporter tried to feed it and tucked it into a shoebox with rags in the tree branches.

"We've got close to 100 baby squirrels right now, and they just keep coming," said Dawn Marie Pangburn, who runs a rescue service in Longwood, Florida.

Pangburn, who said baby squirrels are often tossed to the ground during Florida storms, cautioned against trying to bottle feed them - a potentially fatal move.

She suggested warming them up, either on a soft blanket on a heating pad or "direct body heat, skin to skin." She feeds them with a syringe. The Irma rescues will be handfed for up to 22 weeks before she can return them to the wild.

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2:15 p.m.

Georgia's governor has lifted a mandatory evacuation order for 540,000 people in six coastal counties.

Gov. Nathan Deal said Tuesday in a news release that he lifted the order after the Georgia Department of Transportation inspected 49 state bridges that were affected by Tropical Storm Irma. The governor said it is now up to local authorities to decide when the residents who live in their areas may return home and to provide appropriate guidance.

Deal says recovery could take awhile because damage occurred across the state, not just in coastal communities. More than 1.2 million Georgia Power and Electric Membership Corp. customers were without power Tuesday morning. The utility companies said they would continue to assess damage as power is restored. Alabama Power reported 20,000 outages mostly in eastern Alabama as the remnants of Irma toppled tree and power lines, but didn't cause major damage. The utilities said repairs could take several days.

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1:50 p.m.

Authorities say Irma has caused a fourth death in South Carolina when a city worker drove off the road during heavy rains.

Columbia City Manager Teresa Wilson says 48-year-old Arthur Strudwick died after a single-vehicle crash Monday night.

Columbia police said they believe weather was a factor. Police said it appears Strudwick lost control of his pickup truck and went off the road, striking a tree, during windy and rainy conditions.

Wilson says Strudwick was pronounced dead at a hospital. The worker for the forestry division of the city's Public Works Department had been on his way to help with a downed tree when he crashed.

Three other deaths in South Carolina have been attributed to the storm.

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1:40 p.m.

An American Airlines flight was the first to arrive at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Tuesday morning after the airport was shut down for three days during Hurricane Irma and its aftermath.

The busy South Florida airport usually handles about 800 flights a day, but was handling about half as many Tuesday.

Airport spokesman Greg Meyer said the airport was ramping up its capacity.

About 2,800 flights have been cancelled since Thursday, including 356 on Tuesday.

Both runways were operational and were not damaged. But out of an abundance of caution the airport was only using the south runway because of standing water between the taxi and the runway on the north runway.

Airport staff, including TSA and vendors, arrived around 4 a.m. Many workers were diverted to customer service positions to help stranded passengers, including those who were stuck on cruise ships at sea.

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1:15 p.m.

People on the Georgia coast are facing their second round of expensive storm repairs in less than a year thanks to Tropical Storm Irma.

When Irma arrived Monday, Joey Spalding of Tybee Island was still finishing flood damage repairs from when Hurricane Matthew hit last October. The new storm pushed 2 feet (0.6 meters) of water into Spalding's house at high tide. He waded into waist-deep floodwaters in the street.

Spalding says new drywall, insulation and flooring installed after Matthew is now ruined and needs to be replaced.

Tybee Island Mayor Jason Buelterman says Irma caused worse flooding on the island than Matthew. He estimates roughly 200 homes got flooded by both storms. Storm surge and heavy rain from Irma caused flooding all along the Georgia coast.

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1:00 p.m.

Gov. Roy Cooper said forestry crews equipped with chain saws and some National Guard soldiers are helping clear roads in parts of western North Carolina affected by the remnants of Hurricane Irma.

Cooper said Tuesday that the crews were working mostly in Buncombe, Jackson and Macon counties. Buncombe County includes Asheville.

The governor said the state had five emergency shelters open Monday night and they had about 80 people in them at midnight.

Cooper said two rescue teams have been sent to Florida to help with recovery there.

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12:55 p.m.

A third death in South Carolina has been attributed to Hurricane Irma.

Sumter County Coroner Robert Baker Jr. says 54-year-old William McBride was pronounced dead Tuesday of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Baker says McBride had been running a generator inside his mobile home for at least several hours, with only a single window cracked for ventilation.

Baker says power was knocked out in some parts of the county at around 8:30 p.m. Monday.

Baker says McBride's sons found him Tuesday morning and called authorities.

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12:45 p.m.

Emergency response aircraft have places to land in the Florida Keys.

Monroe County officials said Tuesday that airports in Key West and Marathon, as well as the Navy base in Key West, were operational — but only emergency response flights were allowed.

Authorities were working to reopen three hospitals in the Keys. Mariners Hospital in Tavernier, in the Upper Keys, was found to have water damage that delayed reopening.

Three air ambulances that rode out the storm in Alabama will be returning to the Keys and begin flying for medical emergencies.

The county said two 300-foot stretches of road that were washed out by Irma at the 75 and 38 mile markers were expected to be repaired Tuesday.

Shelters are being opened where food and water would be distributed. The locations include at a Key West shopping plaza, a school near the point of landfall on Cudjoe Key, the high school in Marathon and along the Overseas Highway in the Florida Key Deer Refuge.

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12:10 p.m.

Florida's largest utility says much of the state's east coast could have power back by Sunday, but other areas could take 10 days or more.

Rob Gould, vice president and chief communications officer for Florida Power & Light, said Tuesday that the utility expects to have power on for most customers along the state's eastern coast by the end of this weekend.

Gould said it would take until the end of Sept. 22 to restore power along the state's western coast where the damage was much more severe. He did say that some areas hit by tornadoes or flooding may take longer.

FPL says that 2.8 million homes and businesses are without power throughout its service area as of Tuesday.

Utility officials say they have nearly 20,000 workers helping with the restoration effort. FPL says it has gotten crews from as far away as Canada to California.

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11:55 a.m.

A convoy of federal emergency management trucks was preparing to head to Florida from an Alabama staging area to help with Irma recovery.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency has scheduled 180 trucks to depart Alabama for Florida on Tuesday. That's according to Richard Brewer, the director of external affairs for FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness.

FEMA had staged 930 tractor-trailer trucks at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery ahead of the storm's arrival.

FEMA maintains large stores of food, bottled water, medical supplies, cots and blankets that are pre-packed and strategically placed at locations throughout the United States. Those supplies were pre-staged on semi-trucks so they can be driven into the disaster zone after the storm passes.

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11:35 a.m.

Beyond the luxurious mansions and beachfront resorts are thousands of Florida Keys residents living on the brink of poverty. Advocates say these are the people facing massive hurdles as hurricane clean up begins.

Stephanie Kaple runs the Florida Keys Outreach Coalition for the Homeless. She says many people who work in hotels and restaurants are already living paycheck to paycheck.

The string of tropical islands that stretch south from Florida, connected by bridges, are home to about 70,000 people, with about 13 percent living in poverty.

In addition to providing shelter and recovery service, Kaple said her organization helps prevent homelessness by paying emergency rent, air conditioner repairs and medical bills for community members in need.

She said that despite support from the United Way and Monroe County, those funds, post hurricane, will soon be running out.

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11:30 a.m.

The remnants of Irma toppled trees and power lines in Alabama, leaving thousands without electricity, but didn't appear to cause major damage.

Alabama Power Co., the state's largest provider of electricity, reported that on Tuesday morning that 20,000 households and businesses were without power. The power outages were concentrated in the eastern portion of the state.

Irma, at tropical storm status, pelted the state with cold rain and wind gusts as high as 45 mph on Monday. Rains and wind began to dissipate on Tuesday.

Several school systems remained closed on Tuesday after official announced two days of closures ahead of the storm's approach.

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11:25 a.m.

Miami Beach's mayor said hospitals, police and fire stations were getting power restored first.

But Mayor Philip Levine also said he sympathized with residents who lacked relief from the heat in the barrier island city across the water from downtown Miami.

Levine said in an emailed statement Tuesday that he would exert what pressure he could on Florida Power and Light to do repairs as fast as possible for residents.

Levine said: "I promise you that I will use the full force of my office to continue to put pressure on FPL to get our community's power restored so we can return to normalcy."

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11:20 a.m.

The remnants of Hurricane Irma blew down trees and caused power outages in southeastern Tennessee, causing some school districts to close or delay classes.

Crews were out Tuesday morning clearing trees off some roadways, and a local electric company was working to restore power to homes. No injuries have been reported.

Meanwhile, officials in Nashville deactivated the city's emergency operations center around 1 a.m. Tuesday, about five hours after partially activating it.

The National Weather Service in Nashville called Irma's impact "underwhelming" and said while the next couple of days will be rainy and breezy, warmer temperatures are expected to return on Friday, when the high is projected to reach the mid-80s.

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11:15 a.m.

Police across Florida are warning of scams in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Boynton Beach police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said in a news release that two men posing as power company workers stole nearly $13,000 in jewelry from a 95-year-old woman.

Slater says the woman was sitting in her living room with the front door open Monday afternoon when the men walked in. They told the woman they were checking switches to restore power. She told police one man remained in the living room while she escorted the other man through the house, flipping light switches.

According to a police report, the men told the woman her power would come on shortly. She later discovered that her jewelry and some cash had been stolen.

Police say there is no reason for anyone with a power company to enter individual homes at this time. Any power company officials will be credentialed and most will be driving vehicles marked with company signage.

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11:05 a.m.

South Carolina officials say a man was killed in a wreck on a wet and windy interstate as Irma moved past.

Public Safety Director Leroy Smith said 21-year-old Zhen Tain died in the crash on Interstate 77 east of Columbia around 3:15 p.m. Monday.

Troopers say Tain crashed into another car and his Ford Mustang flipped, trapping him inside. Authorities say the second driver was taken to the hospital. Her condition was not known.

Troopers say the wreck is still under investigation.

The National Weather Service says there was heavy rain in Columbia with wind gusts around 40 mph when the wreck happened.

Tain is the second person killed in South Carolina during Irma. Authorities say a man was hit by a falling limb while clearing debris near his home Monday afternoon in Calhoun Falls.

Smith says Tain was driving too fast for conditions losing control on the wet road, hitting the other vehicle before flipping over on its roof, trapping Tain inside.

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10:50 a.m.

Florida's governor says that bridges linking the Florida Keys appeared to escape serious damage from Hurricane Irma, but more time is needed to finish inspections.

Gov. Rick Scott said Tuesday that officials continue to check the 42 Overseas Highway bridges that link the Florida Keys together. He said none appear seriously damaged but that "we're not sure that on the bridges we should be putting on significant weight."

Residents were allowed to return Tuesday to some islands in the Upper Keys. But there was a roadblock preventing people from accessing islands further away while repairs and inspections continue.

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10:25 a.m.

NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida remains closed, but appears to have weathered Hurricane Irma well.

The same holds true at adjoining Cape Canaveral Air Force Station.

Inspection crews were out in full force Tuesday.

Power has been restored to NASA and Air Force facilities but water service is out. Until that's restored, Kennedy will stay closed to non-essential personnel.

Over at Kennedy's tourist area, life-size replicas of the space shuttle fuel tank and booster rockets were still standing outside the home of shuttle Atlantis. No major damage has been reported at the visitor complex.

Brigadier General Wayne Monteith, who's in charge of Air Force operations says, "We dodged another bullet." Last October, Hurricane Matthew stayed safely off shore. On Monday, Irma remained well to the west of Cape Canaveral.

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9:55 a.m.

Officials in Miami Beach allowed residents to return to their homes Tuesday morning after Hurricane Irma pounded Florida with wind and rain.

A long line of cars amassed on Interstate 195 at 6:55 a.m. Tuesday, waiting for the road blocks to be taken down.

The entryways have been blocked since Sunday night so crews could remove numerous downed branches from main arteries and clear debris.

To re-enter the beach, residents must show a state ID or other proof of residency.

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9:55 a.m.

The Public Prosecutor's office in Dutch St. Maarten says police and soldiers there have put an end to what it calls "large-scale robberies and looting" in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

The office released a statement saying it doesn't know how many people have been arrested but that some accused of minor offenses have been released and some have been assigned to help the Caribbean island clean up from the ravages of the storm.

The government only has enough space to detain only those accused of the most serious offenses.

The statement released Tuesday says authorities there have photos and videos of suspects involved in looting and robbery and will be working with the public to identify them in the coming days.

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9 a.m.

Jacksonville sheriff's officials said on Twitter that 356 people were rescued from flooding on Monday as Hurricane Irma moved over Florida.

And they tweeted some advice for them: "We hope the 356 people who had their lives saved yesterday will take evacuation orders seriously in the future."

Sheriff's officials also said that all bridges leading into downtown Jacksonville have re-opened.

They noted that many roads are still blocked or flooded Tuesday morning and motorist are urged to treat intersections without working red lights as four-way stops.

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9 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron said the government's "top priority" is to help the populations return to normal life in French Caribbean territories that have been hit by Hurricane Irma.

Macron said in a news conference in Pointe-a-Pitre airport, in Guadeloupe, that a major air bridge is bringing emergency aid and rescuers to St. Martin and St. Barts islands.

He added that about 1,900 police and troops are now on the ground to ensure security in St. Martin, one of the hardest-hit islands where 11 people were killed.

Macron said power was restored in about 50 percent of homes in St. Martin. He also hoped some schools will be able to open as soon as next week. All of the island's schools have been damaged or destroyed.

Macron is now heading to St. Martin to meet with residents. He'll then go to St. Barts.

___

9 a.m.

FEMA Administrator Brock Long says the Florida Keys "took the brunt of the hit" from Hurricane Irma and it will take time to survey the damage there before residents there can return.

In a news conference Tuesday, Long says of Monroe County: "A majority of the homes there have been impacted in some way" with homes destroyed or damaged.

Long says Irma damage is more complex than Hurricane Harvey, affecting the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Florida's Seminole Tribe, which relies on the federal government for disaster relief.

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8:30 a.m.

Federal officials are warning of possible fuel shortages in the Southeast because of hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

Last week, the Homeland Security Department issued a week-long waiver on federal restrictions of foreign vessels so they could help distribute fuel. Officials noted this action should help, but urged patience.

Christopher Krebs, head of infrastructure protection for the Homeland Security Department, told reporters Tuesday that Harvey took a "significant amount" of the nation's refining capacity offline and affected distribution. "As a result," he said, "there may be some fuel supply shortages throughout the Southeast."

___

7:55 a.m.

The mayor of Jacksonville, Florida, says his city has the money it needs to begin rebuilding after Hurricane Irma.

Mayor Lenny Curry tells NBC's "Today" that his city is on firm financial ground. He says it can begin rebuilding as it works with the federal and state governments to secure additional funding.

Curry says he doesn't have an estimate for what it will cost to repair the damage.

In Washington, Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says officials are keeping an eye on flooding in Jacksonville from the St. John River.

Long says authorities are still conducting "life-safety" missions in Jacksonville due to the severe flooding.

Mayor Curry says the flooding could take weeks to subside.

___

7:55 a.m.

Federal officials say their focus Tuesday in storm-ravaged Florida will be on deploying aircraft to survey the damage and orchestrate any needed rescues.

They're warning residents not to return home until local authorities declare their area safe.

Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Elaine Duke told reporters in Washington "our No. 1 concern today is with saving lives."

Duke says weather is cooperating, and the Defense Department and other federal agencies are contributing resources. She says: "We are working to get as many aircraft in the air as possible."

Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, says of Irma damage: "This is going to be a frustrating event" and it will likely be "some time" before people are allowed back into their homes.

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7:55 a.m.

A 55-year-old Florida man died when the chain saw he was using to clear trees in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma became entangled in a branch, causing it to kick up and cut his carotid artery.

Hillsborough County Sheriff's spokeswoman Cristal Nunez said in a news release that Wilfredo Hernandez was clearing trees in Tampa on Monday afternoon when the accident occurred.

Nunez said deputies used a harness to lower the man from the tree, but he died at the scene.

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7:35 a.m.

Officials in the upper Florida Keys are allowing residents and business owners to return after Hurricane Irma.

People were able to return to Monroe County as of 7 a.m. EDT Tuesday.

In a Facebook posting, Monroe County officials said a yellow re-entry sticker or proof of residency or business ownership will be required.

County officials said a roadblock will be put around mile marker 74, where part of U.S. 1 was washed out by Hurricane Irma, which slammed into the state Sunday as a Category 4 storm. A road crew is expected to begin repairs Tuesday.

Officials warned returning residents that there are limited services available. Most areas are still without power and water and cellphone service is limited. Most gas stations in the Key Largo area are still closed.

Crews are working to clear U.S. 1, the only road that runs north/south through the Florida Keys.

County officials also said Mariners Hospital in Tavernier was expected to reopen Tuesday morning.

___

7:15 a.m.

The 600 monkeys, birds and other animals at Miami's Jungle Island made it through Hurricane Irma just fine. But the park sustained a lot of tree damage.

The park's managing director Christopher Gould tells the Miami Herald the tree damage was worse than in Hurricane Andrew. "We have weeks of work ahead of us to overcome this type of damage," he said.

Gould said he's not sure when the park will reopen. He says workers are still estimating the damage.

After Hurricane Andrew, the park — which was then called Parrot Jungle — suffered nearly $5 million in damage and was closed for three weeks.

The animals rode out the storm secured in hurricane-proof enclosures. Gould says there were specialists on hand to help the animals deal with the stress. All of the animals were back in their habitats by Monday.

___

6:45 a.m.

French President Emmanuel Macron has arrived in Guadeloupe, the first step of his visit to French Caribbean islands hammered by Hurricane Irma.

Macron is meeting in Pointe-a-Pitre airport with rescuers and local authorities officials to discuss the support and aid they can bring to nearby St. Martin and St. Barts islands, the hardest-hit by the storm.

He'll then be heading to St. Martin to meet with residents, and then to St. Barts.

Macron's plane is bringing water, food and tons of medicines and emergency equipment. The president is also being accompanied by doctors and experts who will be in charge of evaluating the damage.

___

5:55 a.m.

The airport for Fort Lauderdale, Florida, has re-opened Tuesday morning after closing as Hurricane Irma pounded the state.

Operations at the airport resumed at 4 a.m. EDT, but a check of the airport's website Tuesday morning showed many flights still canceled.

Meanwhile, the Miami International Airport said in a tweet that it will resume operations on a limited basis Tuesday. But the airport said passengers should contact their airlines to check on flight status before coming.

Six deaths in Florida have been blamed on Irma, which first hit the state Sunday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane.

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