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Florida battered

Hurricane Irma brought ripping winds, tornadoes and storm-surge flooding to much of Florida’s lower half on Sunday, as its slow-moving core battered the state’s west coast from Key West to Tampa.

The massive storm – which had menaced Florida for days, and triggered evacuation orders covering 5.6 million people – made two official landfalls on Sunday.

Florida battered

Irma hit them as a Category 4 hurricane, with sustained winds near 130 miles per hour.

Little was heard from the islands for hours afterwards because residents here had no way to connect with the outside world.

Florida battered

Though hit with lengthy periods of hurricane conditions that led to significant flooding in well-known tourist areas, Key West was largely spared the onslaught that many feared. But the island was left with no power, water or cell phone service.

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