"We all sort of scattered around the country when we evacuated, so we're trying to stay in touch, " said Suzanne Trottier, who left her Key West, Florida, home for Virginia nearly a week ago ahead of Irma.
The greatly weakened low pressure area will slow down and linger over Tennessee on Tuesday and Wednesday as showers continue moving north into the Ohio Valley and Mid-Atlantic. The NWS warned of the potential for 4-6 feet of water to come ashore, strong rip currents, and winds of 30-40 miles per hour, with gusts of 50 miles per hour or stronger. Although the city wasn't in the storm's direct path, it took a one-two punch of heavy rain and a storm surge, leaving the water no place to drain, said Ron Morales, a meteorologist in the National Weather Service's Charleston office.
The hurricane made US landfall twice on Sunday, in the Florida Keys and at Marco Island.
Ocean water pushed onshore from Tropical Storm Irma is coming over the Battery in downtown Charleston at high tide.
On Saturday, Gov. Henry McMaster reported that eight coastal islands had evacuated smoothly after an evacuation order was issued, and transportation officials say traffic congestion on S.C. interstates had dropped, to 15 percent the normal load. Authorities are still surveying damage from the record-breaking storm, and this story will be updated as more details emerge.
In the Florida Keys, which were struck by the storm at a Category 4 strength, the situation seems far more dire. The city urged voluntary evacuation of low-lying areas last Wednesday, before the storm hit. However, the storm is still capable of producing wind gusts that are near hurricane force, according to the National Hurricane Center. Majority are customers of the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina and South Carolina Electric and Gas.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said Sunday the president also spoke with the governors of Alabama, Georgia and SC. CNN estimates that over 5.7 million customers in Florida alone are without power this morning (September 11th), with fallen trees, downed power lines and the severe flooding being the chief cause of the electricity loss.
This is the scene in Florida as Irma blasts the state with torrential winds and rain.
The storm killed at least 28 people as it raged westward through the Caribbean en route to Florida. More than 100,000 customers were without power in Georgia and over 80,000 in SC.
"For the entire state, but especially for the Keys, it's going to be a long road", the Republican governor said.