Last 24 Hours of Hurricane Irma – Latest Updates
As Hurricane Irma barrels through the Atlantic Ocean leaving in its wake death and devastation, Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are bracing for impact beginning Sunday morning.
Here are latest updates on Irma
Hurricane Irma is now a Category 3 storm
The National Weather Service announced that Hurricane Irma has lost some steam following its brush with Cuba and is now a Cat. 3 storm but officials said it can strengthen to Cat. 4 or even 5 before it makes landfall in Florida Sunday morning.
Irma is moving away from Cuba’s north coast and is about 110 miles southeast of Key West.
It is predicted to reach the Florida Keys Sunday morning with major hurricane force winds. It could reach Fort Myers by Sunday night, passing the Tampa Bay area before moving to northern Florida on Monday morning.
Officials said the Florida Keys and the southwest Florida coast are in the most danger of massive storm surges of 10 to 15 feet and rainfall across the state could be between 10 to 15 inches. A few tornadoes are also possible.
Tornado near Fort Lauderdale
The National Hurricane Center said that “heavy squalls with embedded tornadoes” were sweeping across Southern Florida.
The National Weather Service posted on Twitter that a tornado touched down in Oakland Park, north of Fort Lauderdale but the fire department said there was no structural damage or injuries.
9/9: Tornado on the ground in Oakland Park #FLwx
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) September 9, 2017
*ALERT: There is imminent danger of life-threatening, CATASTROPHIC storm surge for SW #Florida. If ordered to evacuate, do so immediately!
— NWS Miami (@NWSMiami) September 9, 2017
22 deaths and counting
Several Caribbeans Islands have so far felt the force of Hurricane Irma and officials report that at least 22 people have lost their lives so far. Officials caution that number is likely to rise as volunteers canvass more affected areas in the coming days.
Puerto Rico added to the total earlier today when officials there announced that three people died on the island nation.
500 evacuated from St. Martin
U.S. State Department announced they have evacuated 500 Americans from St. Martin. Nearly 6,000 Americans were reported trapped in the island nation and state department said efforts will resume Sunday to evacuate an additional 5,000 who are still trapped there.
“We intend to resume operations to St. Martin as soon as it is safe to do so. Until Hurricane Jose has safely passed, we strongly advise U.S. citizens to shelter in place at a secure location,” a State Department official said late Saturday.
Hurricane Irma destroyed 90% of Barbuda
The island of Barbuda lost 90% of its buildings and vehicles, according to Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne.
Gaston Browne told the media that the island is “barely inhabitable” after Irma went through.
Browne later told ABC News in a phone interview, “When you have an unprecedented storm like this that comes with such significant wind force this is like having a bomb literally thrown on a city. … It is really the sheer magnitude of the winds that destroyed these properties.”
Parts of Cuba felt Irma
Hurricane Irma devastated some parts of northern Cuba on Saturday. The town of Esmeralda, about 300 miles southeast of Havana did not take a direct hit from Irma but suffered extensive damage, including leveled homes and businesses, as well as downed power lines and trees.
Nearly 7 million Floridians under mandatory evacuation
Approximately 6.5 million Floridians have been told to evacuate following the expected arrival of Hurricane Irma, the Florida Division of Emergency Management said Saturday. When you add Georgia and South Carolina evacuations, the number climbs to nearly 7 million.
“If you’re in an evacuation zone, you’ve got to get out. You can’t wait,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday.
Nearly 100,000 Floridians now without power
Nearly 100,000 Floridians are reportedly without power as of 7:00 p.m. CST. Florida state officials announced Saturday evening that nearly 100,000 people were without power as Hurricane Irma unleashed winds and rain on the state.
Officials said that outages are expected to grow as the storm approaches Florida.
WHITE HOUSE NEWS
/ 8 hours ago
Forty five or so hours ago, Mexico City changed forever and with it the...
/ 1 day ago
In May this year, President Donald Trump met with Russian officials in the Oval...
/ 3 days ago
In 2016, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump lampooned the United Nations as a “club” for...
/ 2 weeks ago
Support for impeaching Donald Trump has increased significantly in the last six months, according...