WHAT'S HAPPENING: After Irma's destruction, recovery begins

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  • Karyn Chapman in the Naples Estates mobile home park, cleans up debris in front of her destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which passed through Sunday, in Naples, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • 1

    Men remove debris off a road in the Cole Bay community in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, in St. Martin, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Hundreds of people across an island shared by Dutch St. Martin and French St. Martin are trying to rebuild the lives they had before it was pummeled by a Category 5 storm. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

  • 2

    France's President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with residents during his visit in the French Caribbean islands of St. Martin , Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Macron is in the French-Dutch island of St. Martin, where 10 people were killed on the French side and four on the Dutch. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

  • 3

    In this undated photo provided on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 by the British Ministry of Defence, Royal Marines deliver aid and provide support to the islanders of Jost Van Dkye, British Virgin Islands. The team helped to deliver essential aid utilising a small boat to support this isolated community of just 300 people. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands. (MOD via AP)

  • 4

    In this undated photo provided on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 by the British Ministry of Defence, Army Commandos deliver aid and provide support to British Virgin Islands communities on the island of Tortola. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands. (MOD via AP)

  • 5

    Pierre Ghantos, left, and his son Nathan paddle though their flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • 6

    People line up for the announced opening of a Publix grocery store, the first food chain to re-open in Naples, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which passed through Sunday, in Naples, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. The store could not open its doors on time because they were trying to get the cash registers online. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • 7

    Tybee Island resident Joe Murphy wipes the sweat off his face while standing in knee deep water from Tropical Storm Irma outside his house, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, on Tybee Island, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

  • Karyn Chapman in the Naples Estates mobile home park, cleans up debris in front of her destroyed home, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which passed through Sunday, in Naples, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • 1

    Men remove debris off a road in the Cole Bay community in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, in St. Martin, Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Hundreds of people across an island shared by Dutch St. Martin and French St. Martin are trying to rebuild the lives they had before it was pummeled by a Category 5 storm. (AP Photo/Carlos Giusti)

  • 2

    France's President Emmanuel Macron shakes hands with residents during his visit in the French Caribbean islands of St. Martin , Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. Macron is in the French-Dutch island of St. Martin, where 10 people were killed on the French side and four on the Dutch. (AP Photo/Christophe Ena, Pool)

  • 3

    In this undated photo provided on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 by the British Ministry of Defence, Royal Marines deliver aid and provide support to the islanders of Jost Van Dkye, British Virgin Islands. The team helped to deliver essential aid utilising a small boat to support this isolated community of just 300 people. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands. (MOD via AP)

  • 4

    In this undated photo provided on Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 by the British Ministry of Defence, Army Commandos deliver aid and provide support to British Virgin Islands communities on the island of Tortola. Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands. (MOD via AP)

  • 5

    Pierre Ghantos, left, and his son Nathan paddle though their flooded neighborhood in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma in Fort Myers, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

  • 6

    People line up for the announced opening of a Publix grocery store, the first food chain to re-open in Naples, in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, which passed through Sunday, in Naples, Fla., Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017. The store could not open its doors on time because they were trying to get the cash registers online. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

  • 7

    Tybee Island resident Joe Murphy wipes the sweat off his face while standing in knee deep water from Tropical Storm Irma outside his house, Monday, Sept., 11, 2017, on Tybee Island, Ga. (AP Photo/Stephen B. Morton)

MIAMI (AP) Florida is cleaning up and emarking on rebuilding from Irma, one of the most destructive hurricanes in its history. At least 18 deaths in the U.S. have been blamed on the storm. Authorities have sent an aircraft carrier and other Navy ships to aid search-and-rescue operations amid reports of devastation in the hard-hit Florida Keys. Dozens of people were killed in the Caribbean, where the storm was at its most powerful.

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WHAT'S HAPPENING IN THE FLORIDA KEYS?

Search-and-rescue teams made their way into the hard-hit Florida Keys . Crews worked to fix the highway connecting the islands and rush aid to victims. Federal officials estimated one-quarter of all homes in the Keys were destroyed. Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said preliminary estimates suggested that in addition to the destroyed dwellings, 65 percent of homes in the Keys sustained major damage. Authorities allowed residents back into the Upper Keys, including Key Largo, but not into Key West of the other Lower Keys.

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THE CARIBBEAN

People across the island shared by Dutch St. Maarten and French St. Martin were trying to rebuild the lives. The Dutch Red Cross said there were still more than 200 people listed as missing on St. Maarten, and more than 90 percent of buildings were damaged. French President Emmanuel Macron said the government's priority was to help island residents return to normal life. But there was a severe shortage of food and water, and widespread looting was reported. At least 37 people in the Caribbean . Britain sent a navy ship and almost 500 troops to the British Virgin Islands, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos islands.

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IRMA, WHAT'S NEXT?

Recovery operations are intensifying around Florida and beyond, even as the last vestiges of Irma scatter light to moderate rain around the lower Mississippi Valley and the Ohio Valley in the nation's interior. Once a fearsome Category 5 hurricane when it smashed through the Caribbean last week, Irma was reduced to remnants with top sustained winds of 10 mph (14 kph) Tuesday afternoon and heavy rains associated with the storm have ended. Meanwhile, heavy equipment crews have begun clearing away road and other debris in Florida and beyond.

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THE DAMAGE IN THE US

Irma battered the Florida Keys and wreaked havoc along the length of the Florida peninsula. It flooded streets and coasts, swamped homes, uprooted massive trees, cast boats ashore, snapped power lines and toppled construction cranes. The Florida cities of Jacksonville and Orlando were especially hard-hit by floodwaters. Storm surges also swamped some coastal areas in Georgia and South Carolina.

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THE DEATH TOLL

The death toll from Hurricane Irma stood at 47 by midday Tuesday. At least 37 people were reported killed across the Caribbean islands. In the U.S., 18 deaths were reported in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.

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FLIGHT CANCELLATIONS

Most commercial airports in Florida are open although hundreds of flights were canceled or delayed as the state recovers. American Airlines said the storm forced it to cancel more than 5,000 flights over several days, cutting into revenue and profit. Miami International Airport said Tuesday that limited airline and cargo flights had resumed. The Federal Aviation Administration says airports in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Orlando, Tampa and Jacksonville are open. The airport in Key West was closed except for emergency flights and was not expected to reopen until Friday. FlightAware.com says more than 2,100 U.S. flights on Tuesday were canceled by mid-afternoon, including more than 500 in Miami and more than 400 in Orlando. Atlanta's international airport the world's busiest passenger airport canceled nearly 200 flights early Tuesday. That brought the total interrupted flights at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to about 1,300, spokesman Andrew Gobeil said.

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IRMA SPARES STADIUMS

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers announced Tuesday they will host the Chicago Bears as scheduled Sunday at Raymond James Stadium. Across the state, the home of the Miami Dolphins and Hurricanes was declared safe after structural engineers found no damage related to Irma. In college football, No. 23 Tennessee and 25th-ranked Florida will play as scheduled Saturday in Gainesville. No. 22-ranked South Florida was to resume practice Tuesday and will play host to Illinois on Friday, also at Raymond James. The Bucs' game will be their season opener.

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HURRICANE NEWSLETTER Get the best of the AP's all-formats reporting on Irma and Harvey in your inbox: http://apne.ws/ahYQGtb

      

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