Irma prompts first ever tropical storm warning for Atlanta [photos, interactive tracker]

National news: Hurricane Irma weakening but still presents a threat to life, say forecasters

AT LEAST 10 people were killed in Cuba by Hurricane Irma, state news media said.

Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma passes by, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla.

ALLEN: Well, right now, Irma is a Category 2 storm, a strong Category 2, 110 mile per hour winds, large storm still with winds extending some 80 miles from the center.

The storm made its first landfall in the Florida Keys this morning as a powerful Category 4. Gov. Rick Scott said the route also needs to be cleared of debris and sand.

Images and video from southern Florida that were posted on social media on September 10, showed evidence of Irma's power - trees lashing violently back and forth in the wind, boats smashed into ruined docks, water spouts and tornados forming on the horizon, and waves of water sweeping across roads.

Hurricane Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm early Monday as it marched up the U.S. state of Florida's northwestern coast, with its eye located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of the vulnerable Tampa area.

Cuba's civil defence authorities said in a statement on Monday that the victims perished due to various causes such as accidents, collapsed buildings and not heeding orders to evacuate in the four provinces of Havana, Matanzas, Sancti Spiritus and Ciego de Avila. "These winds are strong enough to push the water out of some of the shallow areas of the bays and harbors".

"If Tampa stays on the east side of the eye, we expect the storm surge to be worse than if the eye moves inland and the west side of the storm hits it", he said.

Footage from the Grassy Key island shot by United States broadcaster NBC showed downed power lines, felled trees, and streets strewn with debris and vehicles. "But we may see home heavy rain and tornadoes as well". So power outages are still possible in SC.

Brian Entin, reporter for South Florida TV station WSVN, is in downtown Miami and filmed water rising along one of the city's main streets.

"It's enormously important that every American in the path of this storm take the warnings of state and local officials to heart", Pence said.

"It is risky to be walking out there", according to a Tampa city official.

DeMaria said the National Hurricane Center on the west campus of Florida International University, has received several gusts close to or over 100 miles per hour.

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