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Hurricane Irma left a trail of damage across South Florida: flooded streets, downed trees, crushed cars, leaky homes. The long slog of assessing the damage across the region begins Sunday. Miami-Dade and Broward were spared the worst of the storm, but the Florida Keys were hit hard.
Stay with the Miami Herald for the latest reports.
Daylight will reveal how bad Irma was
7:20 a.m.: Inescapable Irma, the hurricane that for a week tormented the entirety of the Florida peninsula unlike any storm that came before it, will finally find its way out of the state Monday.
She will leave behind destruction from Key West to probably Tallahassee. And yet the storm will also be remembered for what it wasn’t: In the end, Irma was not the feared Category 5 catastrophe she could have been, though the extent of her damage is still unknown. The dual-coast storm has already been blamed for five deaths.
Overnight, the Category 2 storm pushed into western Florida further south than expected, sparing vulnerable Tampa Bay from the worst of the surging Gulf of Mexico waters. By 2 a.m., it was a Category 1 inland storm moving northeast toward Orlando from Tampa. By 5 a.m., it was about to be downgraded to a tropical storm.
— PATRICIA MAZZEI
What happened to the tiny Key deer?
7:15 a.m.: The federally protected Key deer were exposed to Hurricane Irma and authorities will assess their situation when it’s safe to return to the Keys.
Dan Clark superintendent of the National Key Deer Refuge, said his first priority as the massive storm approached was to evacuate National Wildlife Refuge personnel assigned to the area.
“After we receive information from Monroe County that it is safe to return and we can inhabit the Lower Keys, a post-storm assessment of our facilities and residences will be conducted to determine if we can operate,” Clark said.
— DAVID GOODHUE
Curfew declared in the Keys
7:10 a.m.: Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay has declared a curfew in the Florida Keys between dusk and dawn after devastating Hurricane Irma swept through the island chain.
The curfew is indefinite while damage from heavy winds and flooding is assessed. Meanwhile, no one is allowed into the Keys. Early reports indicated impassable roads and destroyed homes, especially where the damage was worst in the Upper and Middle Keys. “Anyone out after the designates times is subject to arrest,” said a statement released by the sheriff’s office Sunday night. “This curfew is necessary due to the unsafe conditions throughout Monroe County and for security.”
“We don’t have a comprehensive insight into what the damage is,” Florida Director of Emergency Management Bryan Koon said late Sunday. “We will work on those at first light. I don’t have any numbers on fatalities at this point.”
Read the full story here.
— NICHOLAS NEHAMAS
Shopping cart rack on street
7 a.m.: On Sunset Drive and Southwest 92nd Avenue, railroad crossing gates were snapped and lying across the median as the lights flashed, as if a train was coming.
Nearby, a shopping cart return rack from the Winn-Dixie on 8710 SW 72nd St. was draped across the roadway on Sunset Drive.
Along the northbound lanes of SW 87th Ave., fallen trees completely blocked the roadways on SW 52nd, 12th Street and 4th streets.
At major intersections along SW 87th Ave., Miami-Dade police cars, lights flashing, helped guide traffic where street lights were out.
From Doral to West Kendall
6:30 a.m.: A drive from West Kendall from Doral was largely clear on the major roads, including 826, though several side streets were blocked by fallen trees and debris. Some were large enough to be impassable. Power was also still out in several neighborhoods.
A drive back to West Kendall from Doral was largely clear on the major roads, including 826 and SW 27th Avenue, though several side streets were blocked by fallen trees and debris. Some were large enough to be impassable to one reporter’s car while heading home. Power was also still out in several neighborhoods.