As a mighty hurricane, Irma inspired fear. As a tropical storm, it is spreading soggy distress — and continuing peril — across a growing swath of the American Southeast.
In what could be a long and messy afterlife, it will tax the patience of millions.
On Monday, a day after visiting lashing rains, surging tides and terrifying winds on nearly every corner of Florida, Irma unleashed flash flooding in three states and left a sweaty, disruptive legacy: no power for about 7 million people.
Confronting a panorama of destruction stretching from coast to coast, with rescue efforts still in progress and a massive cleanup only beginning to gather pace, Florida and…