By Alex Sosnowski, AccuWeather senior meteorologist
September 12,2017, 2:36:26PM,EDT
For those cleaning up and making repairs in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina, steamy air, flooding and thunderstorms will be natural hurdles in the days ahead following Hurricane Irma.Weakened structures, fallen trees and downed power lines will pose hazards for those heading back. Only do so when officials give the all-clear for your particular area.
Some locations in central and northeastern Florida that were hit with heavy damage from wind may also face moderate to major river flooding over the next several days.
From 6 to 12 inches of rain inundated the central and northern counties of the peninsula during Irma.
Never attempt to drive or walk through flooded areas.
Major flooding is occurring or is forecast along portions of the St. Johns, St. Marys, Santa Fe, Ocklawaha, Ortega, Alafia, Anclote, Peace and Little Manatee rivers.
September is still a steamy month in much of Deep South, and the next couple of weeks will be no exception.
"High temperatures will be within a few degrees of 90 F," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Jake Sojda.
"AccuWeather RealFeel® Temperatures are projected to be between 100 and 110 during the midday and afternoon hours," according to AccuWeather Senior Meteorologist Brett Anderson.
Millions of homes and businesses are still without power. Because of the massive scale of power outages, it will be many days and perhaps weeks until power is restored everywhere.
"A lack of electricity and air conditioning amid the Florida heat, blazing sunshine and high humidity pose great challenges to home and business owners struggling with storm cleanup," Sojda said.
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"People partaking manual labor should be careful to avoid dehydration and heat-related illnesses," Sojda said.
People are encouraged to take frequent breaks with cleanup operations.
Conditions will be dangerous for those with heart and respiratory problems, where air conditioning is not available.
Following largely rain-free conditions on Tuesday, an uptick in typical showers and thunderstorms are likely for much of Florida as the week progresses.
"The sporadic downpours should only be a minor hindrance to repair and cleanup operations," Sojda said.
Not enough additional rain will fall to aggravate the river flooding situation. Through Sunday, only up to an inch of rain is likely.
People out in the open and/or making repairs to utility lines should seek shelter as thunderstorms develop.
Displaced creatures such as alligators and snakes are a concern as flooding persists. Mosquitoes will proliferate in stagnant pools of water.
The hot and humid conditions will be the perfect breeding ground for mold.
Piles of debris and rotten food from freezers will litter the sides of streets and pose additional health hazards.
In terms of additional tropical activity in the Atlantic, no additional threats with high winds and widespread heavy rain are forecast for Florida into this weekend, according to AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
"Jose will dance around in the western Atlantic and will have to be monitored for a potential drift toward the Carolina coast this weekend," Kottlowski said.
"We are in the middle of hurricane season, and there will be additional systems to monitor over the Atlantic, Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico in the coming weeks."