Hurricane Irma: Naples, Florida mayor says city "dodged" storm surge predictions

13 September, 2017, 00:09 | Author: Pamela Mathis
  • Upstate timeline for Irma's damaging wind and heavy rain

Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane Sunday morning at Cudjoe Key, not far from Key West.

Hurricane Irma continued to lash Florida with punishing wind and rain Sunday, and is predicted to move up the peninsula and through Georgia by early Monday morning.

NHC experts predict that Irma will once again be strengthening “once it moves away from Cuba and will remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.”.

Hurricane Irma hit southwest Florida on Sunday, downing power lines, uprooting trees and turning streets into rivers. At least 35 people were killed in the Caribbean.

Irma is "the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade" according to the BBC - widespread damage is expected in the United States of America, with other countries and islands such as the British Virgin Islands already having been badly hurt.

Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

By midafternoon, Irma's winds had dropped to a still-fearsome 120 miles per hour, according to the Associated Press.

"All of us at FPL are now making final preparations for the landfall of Hurricane Irma", said FPL officials.

Police in Miami-Dade County said they had made 29 arrests for looting and burglary.

This means most people who chose to stay hunkered down at home or in a shelter can expect hurricane-force winds in excess of 74 miles per hour.




CNN meteorologist Judson Jones said the severity of the storm surge depended on which side of the storm Tampa was on.

Homes destroyed: About a dozen homes were hit by trees and destroyed in Hillsborough County, where Tampa is located, according to an initial assessment by county officials. No injuries have been reported.

Almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone, according to the AP. Based upon the current forecast path, intensity and FPL's historical modeling, the company anticipates millions of customers could lose power.

Flying objects such as coconuts turned into unsafe projectiles.

"Everything is flooded", he said. During that storm, "I lived the experience of feeling that I was inside a blender", she said. "Absolutely devastating damage for the Florida Keys and the southern tip of Florida is virtually certain with this type of a storm".

Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long warned that those who chose to stay in Key West "were on their own".

While the projected track showed Irma raking the state's Gulf Coast, forecasters warned that the entire state - including the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people - was in danger because of the sheer size of the storm.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster issued a mandatory evacuation for some barrier islands.

Standing water along US 41 from Colonial to the Caloosahatchee in Fort Myers was reported after Hurricane Irma passed through the area Sunday. Schools in the state planned to close Monday.

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