Alwaght- Nearly 13 million residents of the US state of Florida were without power Monday after Tropical Storm Irma left a trail of destruction path through the state and killing at least 11 people.
On Monday night, Hurricane Irma was downgraded from a tropical storm to a tropical depression as the storm lumbered 95 miles south-southwest of Atlanta, Georgia. Irma is expected to turn toward Alabama and then into western Tennessee.
With most of Florida without power, utilities warned that some people may not regain electricity for weeks, despite billions of dollars in investments to strengthen the power grid in recent years.
While Irma’s path has shifted west, Rob Gould, a vice president for Florida Power & Light Co., a subsidiary of NextEra Energy Inc., cautioned customers on the state’s east coast to remain vigilant about downed power lines, the fact their power might still go out and safety issues with home generators.
Looting, anarchy in Florida
The power outage has led to looting with dozens of people being arrested in Florida for looting during Hurricane Irma. As many as 28 people were arrested by the Miami-Dade County Police Department.
Countless people were caught running from a Foot Locker carrying as many pairs of sneakers as they could. Some were filmed arriving in the parking lot and getting out of their cars with huge plastic bags.
It comes after the mayor of Tampa locked down the city with a curfew and promised to be aggressive with looters.
Residents are also being warned that only limited services will be available because most places are still without food and water and most gas stations are still closed.
Irma was at one point the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, with winds up to 298 km/h. By late Monday afternoon, as it moved inland, its winds were down to 80 km/h.
Meanwhile, the White House said Monday that President Donald Trump has not altered his views on climate change, despite scientists' warnings that Hurricanes Irma and Harvey, which recently ravaged portions of the US, are evidence the warming global climate is making extreme weather worse.
In 2012, Trump referred to climate change as a "myth" propagated by the Chinese, and campaigned for President on withdrawing from the Paris Accords, a pledge he followed through on in June, when he announced that the U.S. would leave the agreement.