Irma weakens to a tropical depression, continues to pound SE U.S. with rain

(AP/FOX 46) - The National Hurricane Center says Irma has weakened into a tropical depression. 

The storm, located about 5 miles (10 kilometers) west of Columbus, Georgia, is still bringing heavy rain to the U.S. Southeast on Monday night.
 
Irma is expected to drop 2 to 5 inches of rain across South Carolina and northern portions of Georgia, Alabama and Mississippi. 
 
 
Irma's top sustained winds are 35 mph (55 kph), and it is moving northwest at 15 mph (24 kph).
 
The hurricane center has discontinued all storm surge and tropical storm warnings.
 
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6 p.m.

Authorities are reporting the first death in South Carolina related to Tropical Storm Irma.

Abbeville County Coroner Ronnie Ashley said 57-year-old Charles Saxon was cleaning limbs and debris outside his home in Calhoun Falls around 3 p.m. Monday when a limb fell on him.

Ashely said in a news release that Saxon died at the scene. An autopsy has been ordered.

The National Weather Service says winds in the area were gusting to around 40 mph (65 kph) at the time Saxon was killed. Calhoun Falls is located 60 miles (95 kilometers) south of Greenville, South Carolina.

Related: Irma power outages in S Carolina up to 250,00

Some, but not all, storm warnings in Florida have been discontinued, but storm surge is still expected along western Florida and from around Daytona Beach to South Carolina. South Carolina, Alabama and north central Georgia are expected to get 3 to 6 inches (7 to 15 centimeters) of rain with spots hitting 10 inches (25 centimeters).

Northern Mississippi and southern Tennessee and parts of North Carolina are forecast to get 2 to 4 inches (5 to 10 centimeters) of rain.

The FOX 46 Weather Team is keeping a close eye on Irma, tracking the hurricane’s progress and potential impact on the Carolinas.

RELATEDHurricane Irma brings death, destruction to the Caribbean

Irma is coming off the heels of Harvey, which caused massive damage and severe flooding in southeast Texas. Harvey dropped historically high rainfall amounts that caused catastrophic flooding in the Houston area and other parts of the Lone Star State.

These aren’t the only hurricanes the U.S. has experienced this season, and the season is far from over. Here is a look at the season so far.

2017 Atlantic Hurricane Season So Far…

The 2017 hurricane season has already been one to talk about and we are not even half way through! So far, we have seen 8 named storms with the first one developing back in April. Most of the cyclones this season have remained in the tropical storm category, but four of the storms strengthened to hurricane status with two becoming a major hurricane.

Atlantic Hurricane Season

Tropical Storm Highlights…

It has not only been an active season; we’ve also seen some significant events. The most recent and memorable storm of 2017 was Harvey. This Cat 4 hurricane caused catastrophic damage and record breaking flooding over southeast Texas. After spinning over Texas for a few days, Harvey moved back into the Gulf near Louisiana. Harvey then made one more final turn to the north and eventually making a second landfall in SE Louisiana. This storm will definitely go down in the history books.

NOAA Hurricane Map

*First major hurricane to hit the US since Wilma in 2005
*First Category 4 storm to make landfall in Texas since Carla in 1961
*First Category 4 storm to make landfall in the US since Charley in 2004

Harvey wasn’t the only big talker this season! Here is a look at a few more highlights.

Arlene

*Tropical Storm Arlene developed on April 19th in the northern Atlantic Ocean. This was the first     tropical storm to develop in April since Ann in 2003. Arlene was one of two storms ever recorded in April and was the stronger of the two.

Arlene

*In mid-June a rare low-latitude tropical storm developed and struck the Island of Trinidad. Bret was the earliest storm to form in the in the Main Development Region on record. It was the lowest latitude named storm since 1933 for the month of June.

Hurricane BrettPhoto Courtesy: Weather Underground

*Tropical Storm Cindy made landfall around the Texas and Louisiana border on June 22. This was the first tropical cyclone to strike Louisiana since Hurricane Isaac in 2012.

Hurricane Track

*Franklin became the first hurricane of the season on August 9th.  After crossing over the Yucatan Peninsula as a tropical storm, Franklin quickly intensified to hurricane status in the Bay of Campeche. It only lasted about 5 hours before making landfall in Mexico and weakening rapidly.

Hurricane Track

We are approaching the peak of hurricane season on September 10, but it doesn’t officially end until November 30. The first half has been pretty active, let’s hope the second half is much quieter!

Be sure to follow FOX 46 Charlotte on Facebook and Twitter for the latest on Irma's track and intensity. Now is a good time to download the FOX 46 Weather App to receive instant alerts about the storm. You can also download the FOX 46 News App for breaking news alerts. 

 

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