Irma death toll in US climbs to 22 as power is restored to over 2 million Florida customers

The death toll from Hurricane Irma has climbed to 22 in the United States following its path of destruction across the Caribbean and through the Southeast U.S. over the weekend, while power has now been restored to over 2 million customers in Florida.

And Monroe County announced Tuesday night that all 42 bridges in the county were inspected and “deemed safe for vehicles.”

By late Tuesday, Florida Power & Light Co. had restored power to 2.3 million customers, which was 40 percent of those affected across the state; about 4.4 million customers in Florida are still without power as of Tuesday afternoon. The company said its customers on the state’s east coast should expect most power to be restored by about Sept. 17, while customers on the state’s west coast should expect most power to be restored by Sept. 22.

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After days of destruction, Irma — the first Category 4 landfall in Florida since 2004 — has dissipated. Now, evacuated Floridians are sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic to head home and face monumental cleanups throughout the state.

President Donald Trump announced Tuesday afternoon that he is set to travel to Florida on Thursday.

Upper Keys and Miami Beach residents permitted to return home

The Florida Keys had been cut off from the mainland for days after Irma made landfall on the low-lying islands Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane, bringing 130 mph winds and a storm surge of 10 feet.

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