Hurricane Irma’s eyewall reaches Florida Keys

Hurricane Irma, Tampa Skyline
(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) – Hurricane Irma’s eyewall has reached the Florida Keys.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm’s northern eyewall reached the lower Florida Keys Sunday morning. The eyewall is a band of clouds surrounding the center of the storm that has intense winds and strong rain.

The hurricane center says Key West International Airport has measured sustained winds of 50 mph.

Hundreds of thousands of people are without power as Hurricane Irma’s winds and rain lash the state.

Even though Irma’s center was over water off Key West early Sunday morning, places including Miami were being hit with strong winds and rain.

Florida Power & Light Company said that about 430,000 customers were without power. Miami-Dade County had the most outages with about 250,000. Broward County had 130,000 outages. Palm Beach County had more than 40,000 outages.

The utility said that it has mobilized crews and is working to restore power as it can.

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