Tropical Storm Irma Gradually Weakening Over Northern Florida

A water tower stands over the ruins of the coastal community of Florida City

A water tower stands over the ruins of the coastal community of Florida City

Thousands of evacuees from Florida swarmed into Atlanta for shelter as they fled Irma earlier in the week. Nathan Deal expanded a state of emergency declaration to cover all 159 counties in the state as Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida. State government will be closed Monday and Tuesday for all employees except essential personnel.

Forecasters said isolated tree and power line damage will be possible, generally along and east of a line from Oneonta to Sylacauga to Montgomery to Troy.

The city of Savannah, on Georgia's coast, was evacuated for the second time in less than a year because of the storm, and the National Weather Service in Peachtree City confirmed that Atlanta - more than 400 kilometers inland from either the Atlantic or Gulf coasts - was under a tropical storm warning for the first time.

"On the forecast track, the center of Irma should move near or over the southwest and west coast of the Florida Peninsula later today through tonight".

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After Tampa, Irma will then take a northwesterly turn as it moves into Georgia near the Albany area, becoming a tropical storm by Monday evening.

Irma could also bring heavy rain to central Alabama.

Most of our area is under a Tropical Storm Watch or Tropical Storm Warning now until further notice.

"This is a life-threatening situation", Gov. Scott said Saturday.

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The governor stressed the dangers of what he called a "deadly, deadly, deadly storm surge". There remains a low threat of flooding and tornadoes for the next several hours as well as low end wind gusts.POTENTIAL IMPACTS --* WIND: Little to no additional wind impacts expected although some stronger wind gusts across higher elevations could still down some trees and powerlines.* FLOODING RAIN: Additional impacts from flooding rain are still a concern across north and central Georgia.

Burns said with the high winds expected, much of downtown Atlanta could become like a wind tunnel Monday. The worst of the storm that the Golden Isles will see is expected to roar through over night and into Monday morning.

For Quitman, Clay and Randolph Counties tropical storm force winds are likely.

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