Tropical Storm Irma has unleashed some of Jacksonville’s worst floods in 100 years, inundated parts of coastal Georgia and produced heavy storm surges in Charleston, S.C.
Here's the latest:
- Irma has been downgraded to a tropical storm, but dangers linger for communities in its path
- The storm took a parting swipe at north Florida this morning before it started battering Georgia and South Carolina
- More than 155,000 people in Florida are still in shelters; more than 6 million Floridians lack power
- Irma has devastated several Caribbean islands
- What happens when the sea rises up during a hurricane?
French President Emmanuel Macron called an emergency meeting at the Elysée Palace on Saturday to set up urgent aid to the French Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy and the Franco-Dutch isle of St. Martin, both devastated by Hurricane Irma.
The French government said that 95% of St. Martin had been destroyed. The number of victims is expected to rise. On Saturday afternoon, U.S. President Trump telephoned Macron to express his condolences for the “devastation and human loss.”
Both islands were placed on red alert Friday evening as a second storm, Hurricane José, approached and threatened to paralyze all air and sea traffic, which have been suspended.
More than 1,100 French emergency services — gendarmes, police, civil security, soldiers and health personnel — have been dispatched to the two islands, where an emergency electricity network has been set up to keep hospitals working.
Police forces have been kept busy trying to prevent the pillaging of shops and private properties. An overnight curfew was imposed between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in anticipation of José, which is expected to pass north of the islands Saturday.
Around 3,000 packs of emergency military rations have been delivered. An additional 100,000 are being sent.
Macron announced Wednesday a “national reconstruction plan” for its overseas territories. He told a news conference it was too early to put an exact figure on the sum needed. “An emergency fund will be set up,” he said.