Power blackout as Irma hits Florida

People running to safety in South Beach yesterday as Hurricane Irma started its onslaught in south Florida. At least one million homes and businesses were left without power, in what could end up being the most expensive storm in United States histor
People running to safety in South Beach yesterday as Hurricane Irma started its onslaught in south Florida. At least one million homes and businesses were left without power, in what could end up being the most expensive storm in United States history.PHOTO: REUTERS

Hurricane Irma began its onslaught of southern Florida yesterday, leaving streets deserted and at least one million homes and businesses without power, in what could end up being the most expensive storm in United States history.

"It's going to be horrible," Florida Governor Rick Scott said of Irma on NBC television yesterday morning.

A total of 6.3 million people, or about a third of the state's population, have been told to evacuate. Over 2,000 flights in and out of Florida were cancelled on Saturday.

The damage could top US$120 billion (S$162 billion) in Florida, with other economic losses pushing the bill to as high as US$200 billion.

At least 25 people have been killed in the Caribbean since Irma began its sweep last week before hitting Cuba's Camaguey Archipelago on Saturday.

BLOOMBERG, REUTERS

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 11, 2017, with the headline 'Power blackout as Irma hits Florida'. Print Edition | Subscribe