IRMA: At least 13 million Floridians without power, says state EOC

By News 13, Team Coverage
Last Updated: Friday, September 15, 2017, 3:41 PM EDT

Irma has unraveled into a tropical storm, according to News 13 meteorologists, but millions are without power. See the power outage map here

Officially, over 6.5 million homes and businesses in Florida have no power. However, state emergency managers point out that more than one person may live in a home. A revised estimate shows 13,022,440 Floridians may actually be without power across the state. The population of Florida is 20 million people.

The good news is the power is starting to come back on for some, but residents should expect power outages that last for days, maybe a week or more.

Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys and then the Naples-Marco Island area Sunday as a major hurricane.

This is the first time Florida has suffered a direct hit from a major hurricane since 2005 and at least two tornadoes touched down in Brevard County, causing damage to several mobile homes in Palm Bay.

The Latest:

10:25 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

At least 4 people died in Florida in Irma-related deaths. Two of them were in Orange County.

Brian Buwalda, 51, Winter Park

Buwalda died Monday after apparently being electrocuted by a downed power line, police said.

Winter Park officers responded to reports of a man lying in the roadway and determined Buwalda was dead at the scene. A medical examiner will determine an official cause of death, but police say it appears to be accidental.

Heidi Zehner, 50, Orlando

Zehner was driving on a state highway near Orlando on Sunday evening, when she lost control and crashed.

Her SUV struck a guardrail. The cause of death was under investigation.

The accident came a couple hours after Irma made landfall 200 miles (320 kilometers) to the south in Marco Island.

7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

As of 6 p.m., when the curfew in Orange County ended, the Sheriff's Office said it had made 24 arrests on curfew violations.

6:47 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The state is working feverishly to coordinate relief efforts, including getting gas to gas stations and helping utility companies get the power back on as quickly as possible. But Gov. Rick Scott urged patience Monday, as this process will take months. 

So far the cost of the state response has exceeded $131.6 million. Florida's congressional delegation is asking President Trump for a prompt review and approval of individual assistance requests. 

5:54 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Orlando Melbourne International Airport plans to open at 8 a.m. Tuesday. The airport says the runway appears to be in good shape. Restaurant crew has been busy preparing meals for local shelters and feeding first responders positioned at the airport.

Passengers should contact their airlines and rental car companies before arriving.

Orlando-Sanford Airport will be open Tuesday at 6:30 a.m. Passengers should also check with the airlines for updates. 

Daytona Beach International Airport does not plan on having flights on Tuesday.

5:09 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Orlando International Airport is working to get flights in the air starting Tuesday, but service will be limited:

Airport officials say damage included water intrusion into the main terminal, torn canopies at the departure and arrival curbs on both sides of the airport, and debris and other obstructions in the roadways.

All passengers need to make sure they have a confirmed seat assignment with an airline with the airlines before arriving.

It may take several days before the airport will resume normal operations.

4:47 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A number of services around University of Central Florida campuses are compromised, but they do have power still on campus.

Assessments are still being done around campus, but there's no flooding on campus, and they don't expect travel around campus to be a problem, but they can't speak to county roads outside the campus.

Classes are canceled Wednesday, with plans to have campus return to full functionality and schedule on Thursday. So class will be in session Thursday.

The announcement during UCF's Facebook Live chat upset students and others, who felt given the lack of power and other issues in Central Florida that class should be canceled the rest of the week.

Any changes in the schedule will be communicated. The school is also looking at ways to accommodate students who may have evacuated with families. 

3:55 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave an update on the recovery efforts.

3:43 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The City of Cocoa issued a statement urging people to boil their water until further notice. The statement is as follows:

"At approximately 4:30 a.m. Monday, the Cocoa potable water system experienced a complete system pressure failure in that the minimum safe pressure could not be maintained. The cause is most likely a large water main break or several breaks that created the problem. While the water system can still make and treat water, without system pressure the Dyal Plant cannot deliver water to our customers. ...

"It is important to note that as improvement and repairs are made and pressure improves, residents must continue to boil their water until the city issues rescission of the precautionary boil water notice."

2:58 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

A man has died from electrocution after he accidentally touched a downed power line, the Winter Park Police Department stated on Monday. 

Officers arrived around 7:22 a.m., Monday, to an area around Leith and Westchester avenues where they found 51-year-old Brian Paul Buwalda dead, officers stated, adding that the medical examiner's office is investigating the case. 

2:38 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Irma has weakened to a tropical storm and has moved to the north of Central Florida.

The storm now has winds of 60 mph and is about 55 miles east of Tallahassee. Tropical Storm Irma is moving north-northwest at 17 mph with a minimum pressure is at 980 mb. Irma is expected to weaken to a tropical depression on Tuesday.

2:26 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Orange County and Orlando officials gave an update on recovery efforts.

 

2:01 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

From the Associated Press:

The Navy is sending an aircraft carrier to Key West to provide emergency services.

An update from Monroe County describes "an astounding recovery effort" taking place in the Florida Keys.

The USS Lincoln aircraft carrier will be anchored off Key West to provide emergency services, and three other Navy vessels are en route.

Officials said the National Guard has arrived in the island chain, and state transportation officials have cleared six of 42 bridges as safe for travel. However, roads remain closed because of debris, and fuel is still a concern. There is no water, power or cell service in the Keys.

12:59 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The Brevard County Sheriff's Office said there are "significant power outages across Brevard County and many of the traffic signals are not operational, objects are obstructing roadways, and many streets are impassable by either debris or water. Citizens are urged to please avoid traveling roadways unless absolutely necessary for their own safety and to allow public service and safety agencies the ability to repair and restore safe conditions." 

12:45 p.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

More than 6.5 million customers are without power across Florida, according to the latest numbers released by Gov. Rick Scott's office. Power companies are working around the clock to restore power.

11:55 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The city of DeLand has released a curfew statement. 

"The City of DeLand will lift its curfew at noon Monday and follow Volusia County’s night time curfew from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. However, we want people to stay off the roads. It is still dangerous for people to be on the street as there are many downed power lines, hanging limbs and flooded streets," it stated. 

11:41 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Volusia County leaders held a press conference to give updates on what is being done after Irma hit the area. 



11:11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The Orange County Sheriff's Office announced that as of 10:30 a.m., Monday, 11 people have been arrested for violating the curfew.

Three of those people are facing additional charges of burglary at two residential homes and a Circle K in Winter Park, the office stated.

Deputies reminded people that a burglary during a state of emergency is reclassified as a no bond and a first-degree felony.

10:58 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The Florida Highway Patrol tweeted that there is severe damage to Interstate 4 westbound at State Road 434 and urged people to stay off the roads.

Meanwhile, Disney announced Walt Disney World Parks and Disney Springs will stay closed on Monday.

"We are beginning an initial assessment of our property. While we experienced high winds and rain, we maintained power throughout the storm," the theme-park company stated on Monday.  

10:53 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Seminole County will lift its curfew at 11 a.m., Monday, Sept. 11, 2017. 

10:20 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Duke Energy stated that due to Irma, customers maybe without power for a week or longer.

"Customers should prepare for extended outages that may last a week or longer," Duke stated in a message.

9:50 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

During a morning press conference, Orange County Sheriff Jerry Demings said on Monday that deputies responded to burglaries, one of them in Apopka, at damaged businesses. 

Storms like Irma creates an opportunity for people to commit crimes, Demings said, who added that four people were arrested for curfew violation.

"We won't tolerate" people committing crimes during the curfew, he stated.

Demings stressed that if a person is not a utility worker or works in emergency services or helping the community need to stay indoors. Demings said that at this time, he will not recommend the curfew lifted until traffic lights are working and roads are cleared.

The sheriff also urged people that just because they do not see damage outside of their homes does not mean it is safe to go out. He said it is best if everyone can stay in until the curfew is lifted.

8:24 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11. 2017

Irma has weakened to a tropical storm, but is still producing wind gusts near hurricane force.

The storm now has winds of 70 mph and is about 105 miles north-northwest of Tampa. Tropical Storm Irma is moving north-northwest at 18 mph. Minimum pressure is at 970 mb. Get the latest forecast here

6:50 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

About 5.6 million customers are without power in Florida, according to reports from utility companes across the state. Florida Power & Light has 4.2 million customers without power, Duke Energy 862,780 and TECO 300,324. About 136,685 Orlando Utilities Commission customers were in the dark.

6:41 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

Because of power outages and excessive stormwater from Hurricane Irma, DeLand residents connected to the city sewer system are being asked to hold off bathing, doing laundry and flushing toilets for now.

5:55 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

The city of Cocoa in Brevard County has issued a boil water notice for its residents because of multiple main breaks, it said. Crews were still waiting to be able to go out safely to assess the damage.

Customers are being asked to take a picture of any major utility damage with a significant amount of water and send it with the address or cross streets to the city of Cocoa to help them find the causes.

If the leaks are fixed on Monday, it would be no earlier than Wednesday before water is available again to Cocoa water customers, the city says.

5:51 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

National Guard troops and Orange County Fire Rescue are assisting residents of 129 homes in a neighborhood near Old Winter Garden Road get to a nearby school after their homes were flooded.

The flooding occurred between 2 and 3 a.m. on Livingston Street and Ronnie Circle. The families are being taken to Gotha Middle School.

5:11 a.m. Monday, Sept. 11, 2017

About 87 percent of FPL customers in Brevard County are without power. Cocoa is under a boil water advisory.

4:35 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

Florida emergency officials now say more than 4.2 million people are without power.  Here are the official outage numbers for Central Florida:

  • Brevard: 231,119
  • Flagler: 30,663
  • Lake: 44,853
  • Marion: 52,261
  • Orange: 53,528
  • Osceola: 6,297
  • Seminole: 63,355
  • Sumter: 15,691
  • Volusia: 80,896
FPL has the most people out of power, with 3.5 million customers out. Duke Energy has 1.77 million customers without power.

3:36 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

Lake County emergency officials say a "wind event" hit Umatilla Sunday afternoon. It caused damage to several buildings, including the Umatilla Inn, and at least one house. Several trees are down as well.

3:07 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

Florida emergency officials say over 4 million people are without power. Here are the official outage numbers for Central Florida:

  • Brevard: 231,102
  • Flagler: 30,660
  • Lake: 6,821
  • Marion: 17,079
  • Orange: 53,528
  • Osceola: 6,297
  • Seminole: 63,355
  • Sumter: 1,963
  • Volusia: 79,011

1:50 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

FPL now says 75 percent of customers in Brevard County are without power.

Meanwhile, Brevard EOC is dealing with flooding and fish swimming in its parking lot.

We're seeing more and more instances of flooding in Brevard County. This is Port St. John right now:

1:34 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

Reporter John W. Davis reports debris has started flying in downtown Orlando. A piece of sheet metal, possibly a gutter, flew into our parking garage. We also saw debris in the parking lot near our parking garage. The awnings on the skyway bridge from the Central Boulevard parking garage has also come down. 

12:45 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

The center of Irma inland is nearing Lakeland east of Tampa, still Category 2 hurricane.

12:10 a.m. Sept. 11, 2017

Marion County Fire Rescue operations is now suspended because of high winds. They will resume operations when it's safe to do so.

In Brevard County, Residents who live beachside from Pineda Causeway south, are being asked to reduce water usage. A major liftstation has lost power. 

Brevard County Utilities need residents to limit things like flushing toilets, doing laundry and taking long showers. It will reduce the chances of backups into homes, streets and into the river.

11:18 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

An extreme wind warning has been issued for Polk County. It comes as Hardee County reports of windows being blown out because of dangerous gusts from the eyewall there. That eyewall is now coming up polk County, and will eventually hit the Kissimmee area, west Orange County and points north.

11:07 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

Sumter County Emergency Service is suspended because of high wind speeds. Crews will venture out to answer emergency calls when its safer to do so. 

Many counties have begun to do this, including Orange and Polk counties. So has Florida Highway Patrol.

FHP reports 10 crashes currently on Central Florida roads, but because they can't get out on the roads, those people have to wait until conditions improve.

9:25 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

Reports of possible burglary in the Millennia area of Orlando are true. Orlando Police tweeted this:

9:08 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs says the county has had its first fatality because of Irma. A person crashed on State Road 417 and was killed. The crash happened this afternoon.

Jacobs says it shows that people need to stay off the road.

Winds have increased to 50 mph, so first responders have stopped operations. An Orange County ambulance also hydroplaned on the State Road 408. Everyone was rescued and the county is working on pulling the vehicle off the road.

8:53 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

Our meteorologists say Irma's eye is projected to pass through Polk, Lake and Marion counties. 

8:47 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

More than 3.3 homes and businesses and counting lose power as Irma moves up Florida peninsula.

8:32 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

According to state figures, more than 2.7 million homes and businesses have lost power. Utility companies have crews staged around the state, but it may take weeks to resort power to everyone.

Some 50,000 people are without power in Brevard County, according to emergency managers.

Reporter Scott Fais checked out one of the many utilities staging areas around the state earlier today, this one at Daytona International Speedway:

5:46 p.m. Sept. 10, 2017

In Daytona Beach, all bridges heading eastbound to the beach are now closed on the eastbound side only.

Daytona Beach police also say Beach Street is flooded at the following intersections: Wilder Boulevard, Fairview Avenue, Ballough Road, Rio Vista and Bowman Avenue.

4:12 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

Actress Kristen Bell, best known for the TV series "Veronica Mars," and as the voice of Anna in Disney's "Frozen," is in Orlando.

Bell is tweeting pictures and video as she visits with evacuees, and also posting on Instagram. She's also retweeting important information for those weathering the storm.

3:54 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

Statewide power outages are now up to 2,078,525. County-by-county numbers. (.pdf)

Meanwhile, Flagler county has extended its mandatory curfew, from 7 p.m. Sunday until noon on Monday.

Contact the Flagler County Emergency Information Line for any question -- 386-586-5111.

And over in Brevard County:

3:43 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Naples-Marco Island area, with a wind gust of 130 mph at landfall. 

Dangerous storm surge is now expected in the next few hours in that area.

3:14 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

The National Weather Service confirms a tornado has touched down in Brevard County. The service says the tornado touched down on Worth Court Northwest and traveled over U.S. 1 and through Indian River Drive. The tornado was at least an EF 0.

At least 6 mobile homes were damaged in this area.

Meanwhile the number of people without power in Brevard County is growing.

2:54 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

City of Orlando has opened a Citizen Information Line, at 407-246-HELP (4357). 

This number is for non-life threatening damage reports, including drowned trees, flooding and traffic light outages. This is to keep 911 clear for more dangerous situations.

Call 911 for life-threatening emergencies.

If you need to report power outages, we have a list of utility company phone numbers and power outage maps HERE.

2:25 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

Irma is battering South Florida with 120 mph winds, with the Naples, Marco Island area getting the strongest winds in the next couple hours.

As of 2 p.m. is a Category 3 storm. Irma is moving to the north at 12 mph. 

Below gives you a good idea of how far the core of the storm is from us:

  • ORLANDO: 197 miles South
  • DAYTONA BEACH: 253 miles South
  • MELBOURNE: 188 miles South-southwest
  • TAMPA: 167 miles South-southeast

It's closest right now to these areas:

  • FORT MYERS: 71 miles South-southeast
  • FORT LAUDERDALE: 109 miles West-southwest

But remember, even though you may be far from the core of the storm, we will feel the effects across the state. Now is not the time to rest easy.

1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10

The Florida Highway Patrol is urging people to stay off both the eastbound and westbound lanes of Interstate 4. Water is starting to build up and settle on the roadway, and motorists are moving too fast, troopers say.

12:50 p.m.

A Hardee County deputy and a corrections officer who were working during Hurricane Irma were killed in a head-on crash Sunday morning, the Florida Highway Patrol says. Deputy Julie Ann Bridges and corrections Sgt. Joseph J. Ossman were killed.

12:30 p.m.

The Florida Lottery is temporarily suspending daily drawings. Players should keep their tickets — makeup drawings will take place, and players already holding tickets will still be eligible for drawings.

12:29 p.m.

A tornado warning for Brevard County has been canceled.

12:21 p.m.

A tornado warning has been issued for Flagler County until 1 p.m.

11:59 a.m.

A tornado warning has been issued for Brevard County until 12:45 p.m. There is a confirmed tornado touched down in Palm Bay, according to the Brevard EOC. 

11:42 a.m.

There is a confirmed tornado touched down in Palm Bay, according to the Brevard EOC. 

11:18 a.m.

Hurricane Irma is making landfall over the Lower Keys with its core of the strongest winds in the eye wall passing between mile markers 0 through 40. A 89 mph gust was recently measured in Key West. Irma strengthened over open water in the Florida Straits overnight.

11:17 a.m.

People are heading to local shelters in Central Florida to escape Hurricane Irma's potentially life-threatening winds and storm surge.

Officials in Orange County decided to open even more shelters on Saturday.

The Barnett Park Community Center opened Saturday and welcomes animals.

The shelter is one of three in Orange County that takes animals.

The third shelter that accepts animals will open at 10 a.m., Sunday at Oak Ridge High School.

One man said he is staying at the Barnett Park Community Center on Colonial Drive because a mandatory evacuation was ordered for people who live in a mobile home park in Orange County where he lives.

"I don't know how the wind is going to be, it could be in a smaller category, it would be better for me, but like you said in a trailer it could just fly away," said Mickey Grinberg, Orlando resident.

11:09 a.m.

A tornado warning has been issued for Sumter County until 11:30 a.m.  

11:01 a.m.

A tornado warning has been issued for Brevard County until 12 p.m.  

10:55 a.m.

A tornado warning for Osceola County has been canceled.  

10:30 a.m.

There is a tropical-storm warning issued for Atlanta as Hurricane Irma hits Florida as it makes its way toward Georgia. 

In addition, there is a tornado warning for Osceola County until 11 a.m.

9:47 a.m.

According to the Florida Power and Light company, more than a million customers are without power. Get the latest updates on News 13's power outage map.

9:37 a.m.

A tornado warning for Palm Bay, Melbourne and West Melbourne has been canceled. 

9:21 a.m.

There is a tornado warning for Palm Bay, Melbourne and West Melbourne until 9:45 a.m. 

8:24 a.m.

Hurricane Irma is making landfall over the Lower Keys with its core of the strongest winds in the eye wall passing between mile markers 0-40. A 89 mph gust was recently measured in Key West. Irma strengthened over open water in the Florida Straits overnight. Get the full forecast here.

6:59 a.m.

People are heading to local shelters in Central Florida to escape Hurricane Irma’s potentially life-threatening winds and storm surge.

Thousands of people are taking advantage of the shelters here in Orange County.

About 400 people are inside sleeping in one shelter as there is a small band of rain in Orlando.

It is not too windy out, but trees were blowing in the wind.  

5:18 a.m.

Hurricane Irma is directly impacting the Lower Keys with its core of the strongest winds within the eye wall. Irma strengthened over open water in the Florida Straits overnight.

Winds are at 130 mph, which makes it a Category 4 storm. It remains on target for a projected path past the Keys toward the southwest coast of Florida. This will put Central Florida on the east side of the storm where bands of heavy rain and wind will spiral around as the storm moves north-northwest

Residents in those counties should stay tuned to forecasts on TV or radio. We have a list of our radio partners here

See the full forecast here.

News 13 Interactive StormTracker

The Associated Press contributed to parts this story.