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Copyright 2017 The Palm Beach Newspapers, Inc.
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Palm Beach Post (Florida)


MIAMI -- Sunny skies greeted South Floridians Monday, a welcome sight as they began rebuilding after Hurricane Irma.

The deadly storm, which battered the Caribbean as a Category 5 hurricane last week, had weakened slightly when it hit the U.S. but caused widespread flooding, property damage and power outages.

The storm left 3.6 million homes and businesses on Florida Power & Light's grid without electricity, surpassing Hurricane Wilma's total in 2004. Approximately a quarter of those had been restored Monday morning. Some 58 percent of the state reportedly awoke in the dark.

Miami International Airport, damaged by the storm, was closed Monday. That wasn't the only obstacle keeping millions of evacuees from returning home. Downed trees and power lines snaked over roadways across the flood-heavy state. Gov. Rick Scott urged extreme caution, and residents of the Keys and some South Florida barrier islands were barred from returning home as officials surveyed the region for hazards.

UM canceled classes this week, with their return planned for next Monday.

The 17th-ranked Hurricanes' football game Saturday at Arkansas State was canceled, and this week's prime-time showdown with 11th-ranked Florida State was moved to Oct. 7, a date that was supposed to be an off week for both teams. The Oct. 12 game against Georgia Tech was pushed to Oct. 14.

Florida State announced Saturday that its campus in Tallahassee will be closed through Friday, one day before the previously scheduled date for the Miami game.

"It quickly became clear that it was in the best interest of our players, coaches and fans to reschedule next week's Miami at Florida State game," Atlantic Coast Conference Commissioner John Swofford said Saturday. "Typically, it's not easy to reschedule games, but in this instance, there was a clear path to adjust quickly and effectively."

"I appreciate the job the league did in addressing the situation and the position Georgia Tech took in supporting this change," Miami Athletic Director Blake James said.

The Hurricanes (1-0) are scheduled to host Toledo (2-0) on Sept. 23 and travel to Duke on Sept. 29.

The ACC announced Monday that the Miami-Toledo game will kick off at 3:30 p.m. and be televised on the league's regional network affiliates.

James said in a message to The Palm Beach Post his school hasn't determined when players will resume regular practices.

"No idea yet," James wrote. "We will work within whatever guidelines campus establishes after they are able to assess the situation."

Athletes from all UM sports are trying to stay ready. Many members of the men's basketball team fled to Atlanta, where Georgia State allowed them to use its practice facilities. Football players posted social media videos of themselves training on their own.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. Twitter: @mattyports

September 12, 2017


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