Hurricane Irma hits Tampa at a Category 1
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It seemed as though in the wake of the storm, Tampa was a ghost town. Businesses had their windows boarded and power off. One restaurant who reopened Monday morning was Mr. Empanada in Original Carrollwood. The owner’s sister opened their drive through window to serve hot meals to hungry people. After Irma hit, the owner’s home was out of electricity. They decided that instead of staying in their home, they were going to open their store.
Hurricane Irma was expected to hit Florida at a Category 5, landed in a Category 2 and hit Tampa at a Category 1. It lost its strength as it headed toward Tampa but kept its width that expanded across the whole state. Tampa faced debris, minimal flooding and no signs of major damage.
So far, four deaths have been reported in Florida and 27 in the Caribbean, where Irma first made landfall.
Irma has now been labeled as a tropical storm, but could still sustain hurricane power winds. It is now moving north into Tallahassee and eventually Georgia.
5.8 million people are without power in Florida, more than 1.1 million cases in Tampa as of 3pm. To report an outage, call your providers:
Duke – 1-800-228-8485
TECO – 1-877-588-1010
FPL – 1-800-4-OUTAGE
Lakeland Electric – 1-863-834-4248
TECO customers can track the outages in their neighborhoods with their outage map. These outages could potentially last up to a week or longer.