Thursday, 13 December, 2018

How does Hurricane Irma compare in size to Hurricane Andrew?

UPDATE Irma finally departs Florida with sights set on GA TN Chip Somodevilla Getty Images
Stacy Diaz | 12 September, 2017, 14:51

Hurricane Irma slammed into southwest Florida on Sunday, packing 120 miles per hour winds as it made its second landfall in the state. The storm is expected to further weaken as it continues to move inland.

Irma moved north into Florida on Sunday with powerful wind, rain and flooding, swamping parts of Naples and Miami on opposite coasts before moving to the centre of the state.

Irma has left more than 20 people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, ravaging such resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Antigua.

According to the Florida Power and Light company's power tracker, more than 50,000 of the outages are located in Miami-Dade county.

"The vast majority of Alabamians are only going to be affected by thunderstorm-like wind and rain conditions with some possible flash flooding", Ivey said. "Tropical paradise turned into hell for us", said Spanish tourist Michel Munoz, 31, who said he spent the hurricane sheltering in a Havana convent and had struggled to find food on Sunday as most restaurants were closed.

High winds alone could bring down many power lines, she said, and other lines could be damaged by falling trees.

As of 11 a.m. ET, Irma packed 65 miles per hour winds and was moving west-northwest at 17 miles per hour. Due to the evacuation orders issued by the state, around 5 million people forced to leave their residence.

"We have put the shutters, made all the precautions for any onslaught of the hurricane, because we have gone through these types of hurricanes every two years, so we know how to prepare", said Vivek Swaroop, who has his own consultancy business in Fort Lauderdale area of Florida, where a mandatory evacuation has been ordered.

At 3 p.m. Monday, the storm was 225 miles northeast of Grand Turk Island, just southeast of the tip of the Bahamas.

"It is not forecast to come to South Florida", said National Weather Service meteorologist Larry Kelly.

The live stream at Key West has proved a big hit online, and this is one of the reasons why.

The Florida Forest Service has reached out to Alabama, Georgia and MS for additional post-storm crews to help clear roads and remove debris. Georgia: More than 1.3 million customers, according to Georgia Power and Georgia EMC.

Authorities warned the water would "rapidly surge back" into shorelines once winds change direction.

"This storm can impact any part of North Carolina - all over our state from the mountains to the coast", Cooper said. "I ask everyone in the storm's path to be vigilant, and to heed all recommendations from government officials and law enforcement", he said. No injuries have been reported. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died. FEMA chief Brock Long has said some places won't have electricity for weeks. The damage from the storm damaged not just people's homes and businesses, but also knocked out communication services to rescue crews.

Irma flooded portions of River Street in the tourist magnet city of Savannah, Georgia, and forced police to temporarily shut Highway 80 leading to the barrier island community of Tybee Island.

In the Orlando area, Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World all were closing Saturday.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Irma's wrath is unprecedented, warning that storm surges could be deadly.

"You can't survive these storm surges", he said.