Enero 23, 2018

Hurricane Irma Hits Florida as Cat 4; Path Further West Than Expected

13 Setiembre 2017, 04:24 | Crisanna Felipe

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published broadcast rewritten or redistributed

According to the National Hurricane Center, surges cause more United States deaths than any other hurricane-related event.

Irma's eye was due to strike the Florida Keys on Sunday morning before driving up the state's southwestern coast Sunday afternoon, according to the hurricane center.

Downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, Irma flooded several northern Florida cities with heavy rain and high storm surge on Monday as it headed out of the state after cutting power to millions and ripping roofs off homes. Many left before Saturday, while others have chose to stay. All around the region, more than 7 million homes and businesses lost power at one point from Irma's passage, the brunt of the outages occurring in Florida. Emergency crews later took her to the hospital.

"We're asking folks to be patient and remain sheltered in place", said St. Augustine Fire Chief Carlos Aviles. "It's disgusting, what we saw", he said following an aerial tour of the region on Monday.

Irma tied Florida Keys (1935), Gilbert (1988), and Wilma (2005) for the second strongest maximum winds of all-time for an Atlantic hurricane when it topped out at 185 miles per hour. Here are all of the hurricane watches and warnings for Florida, including storm surge and flood warnings and watches. Tropical storm winds start at 39 miles per hour.

Irma caused at least one fatality, with another person missing, but passed further north than had been feared.

The storm killed at least 11 people in Florida and Georgia.

The official forecast track Friday afternoon showed Irma churning up the Florida peninsula over the weekend before crossing the Georgia-Florida line Monday far inland from the coast.

- Almost 4 million electric customers are without power across Florida, according to utility companies. "This is when we are Tampa strong". It also spread misery into Georgia and SC as it moved inland with winds at 50 miles per hour, causing flooding and power outages.

Tampa's storm surge could be between five and eight feet.

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 were reported.

This includes some 6.5 million Floridians and 500,000 in Georgia. In Cuba, the storm swamped Havana's iconic seawall, pushing water almost a third of a mile (half a kilometer) inland.

And more than 120 homes were being evacuated early Monday in Orange County, just outside the city of Orlando, as floodwaters started to pour in. By Saturday evening, the ocean around Key West was spilling into hotel parking lots and onto roads, while tornadoes growled through Palm Beach and Broward counties, rumbling like freight trains on the move.

Irma is now a post-tropical cyclone, ragged and weakened after ravaging the Caribbean and tearing through Florida.

After waiting for hours, South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster evacuated seven barriers islands and a beach. A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, where many schools canceled classes because of the storm.

Irma's center was about 100 km north of Tampa early Monday, though in a much-weakened state.

Hurricanes have given people pause about building in South Florida before, but only briefly: A Category 4 storm (hurricanes didn't get names until 1953) killed 400 people in 1926 and just two years later another Category 4 killed 2,500 people.

Armed looters on the Caribbean island of St Martin are reported to have been taking advantage of the destruction wrought there by Hurricane Irma.

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