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Hurricane Irma makes landfall over the Florida Keys

By Holly Yan, Faith Karimi and Susannah Cullinane, CNN | 9/10/2017, 10:55 a.m.
Hurricane Irma bludgeoned Florida on Sunday morning, snapping trees like matchsticks and knocking out power to more than 1 million ...
Hurricane Irma batters Miami, Florida with heavy winds on September 10, 2017. CNN photo

(CNN) -- Hurricane Irma bludgeoned Florida on Sunday morning, snapping trees like matchsticks and knocking out power to more than 1 million people.

Hurling 130 mph winds, the Category 4 storm made landfall at 9:10 a.m. ET on Cudjoe Key, the National Hurricane Center said.

Even more powerful could be the storm surges that threaten to swallow Florida's coastal cities.

Southwestern coastal cities from Cape Sable and Captiva could see walls of water up to 15 feet, the National Hurricane Center said.

"This is a life-threatening situation," the National Hurricane Center said. "Near the coast, the surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves."

Still, not everyone heeded orders to evacuate.

"It's going from crappy to worse," said John Hines, who did not evacuate and stayed in his home in Key West.

"All the interior doors are starting to rattle now, sounds like someone is knocking on the front door," he said. "The winds are picking up. It's only going to get worse as it gets closer."

Almost the entire state of Florida is under a hurricane warning affecting at least 36 million people, with concerns of catastrophic gales, torrential rain rain and deadly storm surges.

Those who did not evacuate ahead of the storm are in danger, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Saturday.

Track Hurricane Irma's path

"You're on your own until we can actually get in there and it's safe," he told CNN.

"The message has been clear: The Keys are going to be impacted. There is no safe area within the Keys. And you put your life in your own hands by not evacuating."

This is the the first year on record that the continental US has had two Category 4 hurricane landfalls in the same year.

Last month, Hurricane Harvey devastated much of coastal Texas and killed more than 70 people.

The latest developments:

-- More than 1.35 million electric customers across 24 counties are without power, Florida Power and Light said Sunday morning. More than 650,000 customers are without power in the Miami-Dade area alone.

-- Miami-Dade officers can no longer respond to calls for service, the Miami-Dade Police Department tweeted Sunday. Police are urging residents to stay indoors and not venture outside.

-- Manatee County officials announced a curfew from 3 p.m. ET Sunday until 3 p.m. ET Monday. Residents must remain either in their home or in a shelter, the sheriff said.

-- A storm surge warning wraps around the state, from Brevard County to Tampa Bay.

-- More than 72,000 people have moved into more than 390 shelters across the state, the governor's office said.

-- At least 24 deaths have been blamed on Irma in the Caribbean islands, where it hit before barreling toward Florida.

'You can't survive these storm surges'

Gov. Rick Scott warned some storm surges could be deadly.

"You can't survive these storm surges," the governor said.

Key West business owner Jason Jonas said he stayed behind because he's in a home that is "built like a bunker."