IRMA: 15 killed in Florida so far; Trump to visit Florida on Thursday

By News 13 Team Coverage,
Last Updated: Tuesday, September 12, 2017, 11:26 PM EDT
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With trees down and roads flooded, Central Florida was picking up the pieces Tuesday after destruction caused by Hurricane Irma.

The White House said President Donald Trump will be coming to Florida on Thursday to talk with officials on cleaup efforts and visit with residents impacted by the storm.

According to state emergency management officials, Irma has killed at least 15 people in Florida so far — in Central Florida, five people died in Orange County and one in Marion. Other fatalities around the state include one each in Broward, Liberty, Duval, Pinellas and Pasco counties, and two each in Hillsborough and Hardee counties.

In the most recent case, Orange County deputies believe three people were killed from carbon monoxide poisoning at a home on Eggleston Avenue, in the Forest City area. Four others were hospitalized. 

When a deputy got to the home and opened the door he was overwhelmed by the odor of gas. The deputy discovered a generator inside the home.

“On the sad meter of one to 10 this is an11,” said Jeff Williamson with the Orange County Sheriff’s Office.  

The victims included three generations of a family -- grandparents, parents and children. No word on the condition of the surviving victims.

“They are in varying degrees in terms of their conditions, but what I heard from our people talking to the fire dept., a couple of them had to be taken out, carried out, and it doesn’t look very good right now,” said Williamson.  

Generators should never be used inside any home, garage or enclosed space. 

The causes of the other deaths ranged from vehicle accidents (six), storm preparations (four), power lines (one) and heart attacks (one, while trying to start a generator), state officials said.

More than 13 million Floridians woke up without power on Tuesday morning, according to the state emergency management officials.

With temperatures on the rise and some not having air conditioning, it will be a frustrating few days — possibly weeks — without power.

Much drier air has arrived following Irma, and highs were forecast to be in the mid-80s. The good weather will help with cleanup efforts.

In Orlando, a tree came crashing down dangerously onto Michael Desue's home. He had to crawl over a wall to safety after the large tree fell into his bedroom and living room.

“I saw it coming down, it was very slow motion, when I saw it coming down, I instinctively shielded my face, so when that happened, I said oh I’m fine. After that I was like okay, let me work my way out,” he said.

The rest of Desue’s family evacuated to Alabama before Hurricane Irma.

In Altamonte Springs, a massive rescue by the Seminole County Fire Department and Altamonte Springs Police.

The Little Wekiva River began to rise and parts of an Altamonte Springs neighborhood began to flood with nearly four dozen people needed rescuers to get them out.

Seminole County Fire Rescue had to use large trucks to get down Little Wekiva Road to pluck residents from their homes and bring them to safety.

Officials say floodwaters were around five feet deep when they arrived on scene. According to rescuers, it took several hours, but in the end, 45 people were rescued along with 13 pets. All were brought to safety and no injuries were reported.

No word yet on how much damage has been done in this area, but the power is out in the neighborhood.

In Brevard County, Irma dumped 15 inches of rain in 12 hours in that area as many are without power as they are trying to clean up.

There were three tornadoes during the course of the storm, emergency officials confirmed. Twenty-eight structures were damaged or destroyed on the Space Coast.

A day after the storm there was not much change in the Palm Bay Point area, where an EF1 tornado plowed through.

Debris from the roof of a two-story home on the Indian River is still scattered over several properties.

Mobile homes on Indian River Drive, off US-1, that were ravaged by the tornado are still in shambles. One is damaged beyond repair.

In the Grant-Valkaria area of south Brevard, heavy rain flooded roadways, heavy rain flooded roadways, leaving people stranded.

One resident near Corey Road now has a lake in front of his house.

"We are just in the middle of water. I got seven acres and the house is sticking up in the middle. The driveway is under eight inches of water," said Bart Stanley.

There have been no reports of any injuries in south Brevard County.

In Flagler County, one of the major areas of concern was State Road A-1-A along the Atlantic Coast, however, it does not appear to be nearly as bad as the damage done during Hurricane Matthew.

Near 13th Street, the storm surge washed out large sections of dune.

The water pulled away the sand right up to the asphalt, leaving huge drop-offs right next to the road.

The northern end of A-1-A that had been repaired after Matthew was not damaged in Irma.

Supermarkets across Central Florida are slowly making progress to get back to a regular routine.

Stores like Publix, Whole Foods, Target and Walmart are in recovery mode as they are assessing any damage and organizing before they can reopen.

Travel updates

See if your travels are being canceled:

Irma has certainly impacted the travel industry as many travelers are wondering when they can continue their journeys.

Orlando International Airport and the Orlando Sanford International Airport suspended flight service on Saturday. OIA stated that it plans to start flights on Tuesday. 

"Orlando International is currently targeting Tuesday, September 12, 2017 to resume some limited commercial service. All passengers are advised to verify a confirmed seat assignment with their individual airlines before arriving at the airport," it stated.

Orlando Sanford International stated that it would be open on Tuesday at 7:10 a.m., but urged people to check the airlines for flight updates before coming to the airport. 

Orlando Melbourne International Airport plans to reopen at 8 a.m. on Tuesday and also echoed OSI's advice to have people confirm with airlines about flight information before leaving for the airport.

Tampa International Airport suggested the same advice. 

"Flights will begin on Tuesday with a gradual build-up to a full schedule over the following days. Check with airlines for details on specific flights.," it stated.