Hurricane Irma punched its way across the Tampa Bay area overnight with strong winds and heavy rain.
By just after daylight, Irma was downgraded to a Tropical Storm. And when the sun finally came up, it was clear Irma had left its mark.
The large but weaker storm left damage across the region with downed trees and power lines and some property damage and street flooding.
About 6.5 Florida homes and businesses lost power as Irma moved up the Florida peninsula, delivering a historic blow to the Sunshine State. At least 180,000 people huddled in shelters.
- Florida residents: Florida Emergency Information 1-800-342-3557 floridadisaster.org/info
- Volunteer Opportunities: 1-800-FL-HELP-1 volunteerflorida.org
- TRACK THE TROPICS: Storm Season 2017
- CLOSINGS: Latest school, college closings | Travel closures
- POWER OUTAGES: Check power outage info
- SEE BELOW: Use the interactive storm tracker ▼
- ALSO BELOW: Timestamped updates on Irma
At 9 p.m. Monday, 315,482 TECO customers were without power in Hillsborough, East Pinellas, Pasco and Polk Counties.
Meanwhile, Duke Energy reported the following customer outages by area: Pinellas 415,248; Hernando/Citrus 37,101; Polk 61,324 and Hillsborough/Pasco 84,821.
Withlacoochee River Electric Cooperative had 111,365 in Pasco/Citrus/Hernando outages. And Florida Power and Light reported 103,980 customers without power in Manatee County and 141,970 without power in Sarasota County.
The conditions were so bad that a number of law enforcement agencies and rescue organizations had to suspend on-the-road operations Sunday night because of storm conditions and dangers.
The huge news Sunday night was the fact that Irma made landfall farther south than forecasted, which resulted in those major hurricane force winds staying south of the Tampa Bay region.
Still, the winds that did come through were strong enough to down trees and power lines and cause some damage, along with the heavy rain.
- Roof damage and water leaking into rooms at the Kenwood Inn in St Petersburg.
- Public reported via social media that the Sunoco awning blew over on 66th St N in Pinellas Park.
- Wall collapse at Winter Haven Manor Apartments in Polk County.
- Significant street flooding with in Plant City with water entering homes near Sam Allen Rd and 39.
- 19 inches of water in home off Yates Road in Lakeland.
- Flooding in Temple Terrace at the apartments at 5618 Gibson Avenue
- Flooding in Quail Hollow, Wesley Chapel and at 31952 Tally-Ho Lane, Wesley Chapel
- Flooding at Lake Bambi RV Park, Land O Lakes
- Damage to the 7-11 in Spring Hill at Spring Hill Drive and Barclay
- Mobile homes damage off Palma Sola Blvd. in Bradenton
- A dozen homes destroyed on the east side of the county, per Hillsborough County officials.
- River flooding – worried about the Hillsborough River, Cypress Creek
- 300,000 power outages at one point
- Water is safe to drink
- Officials trying to figure out where to take the trash/debris that’s on the road
- 29,000 people evacuated
Irma once was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 mph. Irma initially took aim at the Miami area and the rest of Florida's Atlantic coast.
But then Irma made a westward shift and lost some of its punch while crossing Cuba's northern coast - just before a crucial turn into Florida's Gulf Coast.
11 p.m. - Tampa Electric began restoring power today for thousands of customers. So far, power has been restored to 90,000 customers.
8:30 p.m. - USF announced an updated timeline for returning to normal operations in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
USF Tampa and USF St. Petersburg faculty and staff should report to work as scheduled on Wednesday, Sept. 13. USF Tampa and USF St. Petersburg classes will resume on Thursday, Sept. 14.
USF Sarasota-Manatee remains without power, and a re-opening day and time has yet to be determined. USFSM students, faculty and staff will be updated regarding plans to reopen as soon as power is restored.
USF Tampa's Marshall Student Center, Library, Campus Recreation Center, Student Health Services and Counseling Center will re-open at 8 a.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 13.
All USF clinics will re-open Wednesday, Sept. 13.
For more information about the updated timeline or schedules, students or parents can call 1-855-382-5049. USF faculty or staff can call 1-855-456-0649. Both phone numbers will be staffed 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 12.
8:28 p.m. - Manatee County Schools will resume classes on Monday, September 18.
7:13 p.m. - Hillsborough County public schools will reopen on Thursday.
7 p.m. - Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will remain closed Tuesday to allow for final debris clean-up. Adventure Island is currently operating on a weekends only schedule.
It's expected that Busch Gardens Tampa Bay will reopen Wednesday, but guests are encouraged to check with the Busch Gardens website for updates. All the animals at Busch Gardens have been accounted for.
6:25 p.m. - The Sunshine Skyway Bridge has reopened.
5:28 pm. - The storm surge warnings from Fernandina Beach southward, from the Aucilla River westward, and from Clearwater Beach southward, including Tampa Bay, have been discontinued. But it remains in effect north of Clearwater Beach to the Aucilla River.
5:15 p.m. - (Pinellas Park trash pickup) Trash and recycling pick up for Pinellas Park residents resumes Wednesday and Waste Management Transfer Site for vegetative debris will be open tomorrow. Residents should tie and bundle debris and put it curbside for pick up on Wednesday.
The Waste Management Transfer site/Brush site (for vegetative debris only) will be open tomorrow, Tuesday, September 12th at 5:30 am. Proof of residency required.
5:12 p.m. - (Winter Haven trash pickup) All City of Winter Haven solid waste customers will receive collection service this week on a holiday schedule. This means Monday service will occur Tuesday, and Tuesday service will occur Wednesday.
The priority at this time is the collection of household garbage and recycle material. Yard and horticultural materials will be collected at a later date.
Customers must separate brush and yard debris from junk such as roof shingles, board and construction material. When stacking material for collection, it is important to place it on your property away from fire hydrants, mail boxes, poles and driveways.
5 p.m. - A countywide curfew is in effect for Polk County from midnight to 5 a.m. Tuesday.
5 p.m. - The Salvation Army will serve 600 meals to evacuees and homeless in Tampa from 4 - 6 p.m. Monday at 1603 N. Florida Avenue, Tampa.
4:58 p.m. - (Hernando County trash pickup) Republic Services will begin household trash pick-up starting Tuesday, September 12 with limited staffing and will continue throughout the week. Regular trash collection schedules will resume as soon as Republic Services is fully staffed.
No recycling, yard waste or storm debris will be collected. Announcements about storm debris will be provided when available.
All landfill locations will be open during regular hours of operation.
Hernando County Solid Waste Department Locations, Days and Hours of Operation:
West Hernando Convenience Center
2525 Osowaw Boulevard (CR 595)
Spring Hill, Florida
Phone: (352) 754-4770
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
East Hernando Convenience Center
33070 Cortez Boulevard
Ridge Manor, Florida
Phone: (352) 540-6205
Open Tuesday - Saturday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Northwest Solid Waste Facility (Main Landfill)
14450 Landfill Road
Brooksville, FL 34614
Phone: (352) 754-4112
Open Monday - Saturday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
4: 50 p.m. - (Hillsborough County trash pickup) There will be no solid waste collection Sept. 12, (including garbage, recyclables, and yard waste) in the unincorporated Hillsborough County Service Area, which also includes Tampa Palms, Hunter's Green, and New Tampa. Normal garbage and recycling collection service will resume on the next scheduled day for pickup of those items.
Residents with yard waste should place items in piles along the right of way for storm debris removal, taking care to not block access to stormwater drains, utility boxes, or roadways.
All solid waste disposal facilities will be open extended hours, from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., to support storm debris removal and drop off, including the Southeast County Landfill, Northwest and South County transfer stations, community collection centers, and yard waste processing facilities. Residents will need to bring a photo ID and a copy of their property tax bill, which includes the assessment for solid waste disposal, to utilize the solid waste facilities.
The Hillsborough County's Customer Service Center line, (813) 272-5900, will continue to assist residents 24 hours a day, until further notice.
4:40 p.m. - Pasco County Government is recommending a voluntary evacuation for residents living in the Elfers area surrounding the Anclote River labeled "Evacuation Area" on Map Exhibit 4A. To view the map, click here. For public shelter locations and times, see the Pasco County website at www.pascocountyfl.net Residents may also call the Resident Information Center at 727-847-2411.
4:20 p.m. - Access to Clearwater Beach has reopened.
3:28 p.m. - Following places in Hernando under a boil water notice:
- Weeki Wachee Woodlands located east of US 19
- Eastern Hernando County - east of I-75
- City of Brooksville
2:49 p.m. - All Pinellas County government offices and park facilities will remain closed through Tuesday.
2:46 p.m. - St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport will open to the public Tuesday. Flights will resume Wednesday. Passengers should contact their airlines for more information.
2:40 p.m. - Traffic alert from Tampa Police Department: the Courtney Campbell Causeway is now open in both directions.
2:26 p.m. - The United States Coast Guard anticipates re-opening Port Tampa Bay by Tuesday at 2 p.m. They are expecting three fuel vessels to help with the Tampa Bay shortage.
1:43 p.m. - All access to Clearwater Beach remains closed at this time due to many live power lines and debris on the streets. City crews and Duke Energy crews are working to clean up the aftermath of Irma.
1:05 p.m. - Polk County Utilities has issued a precautionary boil water notice for customers located in subdivisions and places of business near Spirit Lake Road from US 17 to Recker Highway in the Central Region Public Water System. Approximately 4,800 customers are affected. Call 863-534-7351 for questions.
1 p.m. - Hernando Beach residents advised to remain indoors and avoid the roads. There is still a potential opportunity for storm surge equal to that of Hurricane Hermine during today's high tide that will occur at 6:53 p.m., causing coastal flooding.
12:55 p.m. - Hillsborough County is transitioning shelter availability for evacuees who continue to need assistance. As evacuees leave shelters, Hillsborough County will begin to close shelters at most schools. Those who still need somewhere to stay can utilize three remaining shelters:
- Burnett Middle School, 1010 N. Kingsway Road, Seffner (pet-friendly)
- Middleton High School, 4801 N. 22nd Street, Tampa
- Shields Middle School, 15732 Beth Shields Way, Ruskin (No longer accepting pets)
12:50 p.m. - From Citrus County Sheriff's Office: Due to downed trees and power lines, we are asking all residents to stay indoors and NOT BE DRIVING on the roads until further notice. If you absolutely must drive, remember to treat non-working traffic lights as four-way stop signs. This is imperative for your safety and the safety of others.
12:35 p.m. - From Citrus County Sheriff's Office: FLOOD WARNING: Due to rising water levels from the Green swamp, other rivers to our south, and added rain from Hurricane Irma, the Withlacoochee River will be reaching flood stage at 9PM Monday night. Specifically, waters will rise 4 FT above flood stage by Wednesday night. This will affect the area between Highway 200 and Stokes Ferry east all the way to East Channel Drive. Some specific areas to be affected are East River Rd., the area of Arrowhead, and Stokes Ferry. This event is going to be very similar to the flooding event we experienced back in 2004. We are advising all residents who live in this area to take all of the necessary safety precautions to protect yourself and your family.
12 p.m. - County officials announced Hernando County schools will be closed for the rest of the week and will re-open on Monday, Sept. 18.
11:45 a.m. - PSTA will not operate regular bus service today. We do plan to resume service tomorrow.
11:35 a.m. - Polk County Utilities issues precautionary boil water notice. Polk County Utilities is issuing a Department of Health required “PRECAUTIONARY BOIL WATER NOTICE” due to a loss of pressure. This notice is for customers located in subdivisions and places of business near Spirit Lake Road from US Highway 17 to Recker Highway in the Central Region Public Water System. Approximately 4,800 customers are affected.
11:30 a.m. - East Hernando is under a boil water notice for the entire area east of I-75 due to a water main break from a down tree.
10:30 a.m. - The Florida Highway Patrol has reopened the Gandy and Howard Franklin Bridges. Westbound on the Courtney Campbell Causeway is also open, but eastbound lanes remain closed. The Sunshine Skyway Bridge remains closed.
9:30 a.m. - Deputies will be allowing access back into Pinellas County at 9:30. The barrier islands will remain closed until storm damage and safety is assessed.
When it is safe to re-enter the barrier islands, officials will announce it immediately.
8:45 a.m. - Manatee County curfew lifted.
8:20 a.m. - Hernando County Fire Rescue is now responding to calls.
7:30 a.m. - Assistant County Administrator for Public Safety Kevin Guthrie says power is out to about 50-percent of the county, as of 7:25 a.m. Monday.
7 a.m. - Curfew lifted in Pasco County.
5:15 a.m. - Citrus County can expect to continue to see Tropical Storm force winds for the next several hours. Due to the track of the storm remaining over land the forecasted storm surge has been reduced to 2-5 feet. Citrus County is experiencing wide spread power outages and numerous roads are blocked by debris and fallen trees. Once the storm passes damage assessment and recovery operations will begin. Those in the mandatory evacuation areas on the west side of the county will still be impacted by the pending storm surge.
5 a.m. - Polk County reporting power outages are widespread, many trees and power lines are down blocking roadways, there is extensive private property damage, and many traffic signals are not working.
Remember that the spaghetti model plot does not indicate the strength of a system or even development at all. It only predicts where this broad area of low pressure is expected to go.