Miami, Florida, had been expecting the brunt of the storm, but
Irma changed its eastern track to a more western one early Friday, putting
Florida’s Gulf coast in a frenzy. Prior to making landfall in the U.S., Irma
hit Cuba as a Category 5 hurricane on Friday night. CNN reports that Cuban
State TV announced 10 hurricane related deaths on the island. In addition to
Cuba, Irma hit Antigua and Barbuda, St. Maarten, Anguilla, the U.S. and British
Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and Turks and Caicos the hardest, according to CNN.
The Bahamas, Haiti, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Barths, and the Dominican Republic
were also affected, but didn’t suffer as much damage.
Following its destruction in the Caribbean, where, according
to the BBC, nearly 40 people were killed, Irma was downgraded to a Category 3
and then back to a Category 4. It made its first U.S. landfall at Cudjoe Key in
the Florida Keys, its eye passing just 20 miles east of Key West Sunday
morning. It then continued up the Gulf Coast of Florida, weakening to a
Category 3 storm and making a second Florida landfall in Marco Island, where it
continued up the western side of the state. By nightfall, it had weakened to a
Category 2 hurricane with winds of 100 miles per hour, reports The Times.
At 400 miles wide, the storm’s winds extended to the
Atlantic side, affecting many cities, among them Fort Lauderdale and Miami,
which both saw flooded streets. As for the west coast, Florida’s governor told
the New York Times, “We saw the remnants of the storm surge along the west
coast, but I didn’t see the damage I thought I would see.” It seems that in
Florida, the Keys received the worst of the storm, as FEMA told the media that
25 percent of homes there have been destroyed and another 65 percent suffered
major damage. Utility officials told press that more than 3.3 million homes and
businesses across the state lost power.
As of NOAA’s latest update Tuesday morning, September 12,
post-tropical cyclone Irma is bringing generally moderate rain to parts of the
southeastern U.S. and Tennessee and Ohio Valleys.
here for an update on the latest relief efforts for those affected by
Hurricane Irma. More footage of the aftermath below.
in the Caribbean
aerial and on-the-ground look at Key West
devastation from space
Images of Cuba
as Irma hits
surge in Brickell in Miami
sea rises in Miami
Hillsboro Inlet Bridge
updates from St Maarten
One of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic,
Category 5 Hurricane Irma, with winds around 185 miles per hour, hit the
eastern Caribbean this Wednesday. She continues to barrel through the Caribbean
and toward The Bahamas, with a potential landfall in Florida this weekend as a
Category 4 storm under a projected path toward the state’s eastern coast as of
the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 11 a.m. advisory
on Thursday, September 7.
The destruction this historic storm is leaving in its wake
is devastating. Barbuda’s Prime Minister Gaston Browne stated during Facebook
Live that about 95 percent of the properties in the island suffered damage,
calling it “literally rubble” and “barely habitable,” and that 50 percent of
the island was homeless. The French interior minister Gerard Collomb told the
press at least eight people had been killed in French Caribbean territory, and
at least three deaths were reported elsewhere, according to the New York Times.
Below, video and photo footage of the aftermath. Check back
for more updates.
view over St Maarten
of destruction in St Maarten
Irma passing over Anguilla and St Maarten
40M Yacht sinking in St Maarten
Footage across all areas of the
Caribbean hit by the storm
Irma: Damage in the Caribbean slideshow
Photo: SMN News