Irma pushes ocean water out on its destructive path through Florida (PHOTO, VIDEO)

President Donald Trump Sunday afternoon approved a major disaster designation for the state of Florida

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The Tampa skyline is seen in the background as local residents are hit with gusts of wind while walking into Hillsborough Bay ahead of Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Adrees Latif

Hurricane Irma Sunday afternoon made a second landfall in Florida as the full force of the storm began pummeling the state’s Gulf Coast with deadly storm surge and torrential downpours, leaving at least 4 people dead in Miami.

One of the consequences is also withdrawal of ocean water in Tampa Bay, as Irma approaches the coastal town. Water is going towards the Gulf of Mexico and is expected to come back soon.

Source: Irma pulls water from Tampa Bay by ReutersNews on Rumble

Irma, once a top-tier Category 5 storm that destroyed the Caribbean, lost strength and was downgraded to Category 1 as it moved north into the US mainland, with maximum sustained winds of 169 kilometers per hour.

However, officials continued to sound warnings that the real danger posed by the hurricane came in the form of storm surge, abnormal and extremely rapid rises in water levels.

A man climbs stairs leading from Hillsborough Bay after water receded from the harbour ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

“The threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected”, the National Hurricane Center said in a statement. “This is a life-threatening situation”, it added.

The hurricane triggered mass evacuations of historic proportions, with more than six million people asked to flee in Florida and the neighboring states. Nearly five million Floridians are without power, according to Florida Power & Light officials.

A man photographs Hillsborough Bay after water receded from the harbour ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

President Donald Trump Sunday afternoon approved a major disaster designation for the state of Florida, making full federal assistance available for emergencies as well as when the eventual hard work of recovery begins.

Irma devastated the Caribbean, leaving entire islands uninhabitable and causing at least two dozen deaths, before churning over Cuba and moving up to the continental US.

The Tampa skyline is pictured across Hillsborough Bay after water receded from the harbour ahead of the arrival of Hurricane Irma in Tampa, Florida, U.S., September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Chris Wattie

The storm is expected to travel northward in Florida to Ft. Meyers Sunday night and Tampa early Monday. Even as its strength dwindles due to repeated landfalls, forecasts show heavy downpour affecting much of Florida until Friday.

Reuters/Stephen Yang: Flooding in the Brickell neighborhood as Hurricane Irma passes Miami

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