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Hurricane Irma: "The worst has passed us" says Florida mayor

OPTIMISTIC: Lauren Poe

MAYORS OF several Florida cities said that the worst of the storm appeared to have passed, Reuters reports.

While there was expected damage and power losses, the hurricane was not as catastrophic as initially feared, they said, noting that they still had to assess the damage as day broke.

"It was far better than we thought. What we thought would be a punch in a face was a glancing blow, and we are still fighting," Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn told MSNBC in a telephone interview. "It was a long night it was a scary night ...but we really, really dodged a bullet today."

Mayor Bill Barnett of Naples, in a separate MSNBC interview, said Irma "came through here hard," flooding some neighborhoods, causing other water damage, spraying debris and knocking out power.

"We think the worst has passed us," Gainesville Mayor Lauren Poe also told the television network by telephone.

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