Irma reaches Florida

The eye of Hurricane Irma has passed the Florida Keys and has reached the west coast of mainland Florida. It has dropped to a category 3 hurricane, meaning sustained winds of 120 mph or more – that’s 193 kph or more.

It’s likely to be a while before the extent of damage becomes known. One death has so far been reported.

There are photos online of people standing on drained shores:

But warnings are being given to stay away from the sea as just as storm surges taketh away, they also giveth.

The storm is about 35 miles south of Naples. It has drained massive amounts of water from Tampa Bay ahead of storm surges, cut off the Florida Keys, and put swaths of downtown Miami underwater. Tornadoes have cut across much of central and east Florida, including one formed in the last hour near Fort Lauderdale airport.

The National Hurricane Center’s 2pm advisory warns people not to underestimate the storm, which will “remain a powerful hurricane while it moves near or along the west coast of Florida”.

The NHC’s Atlantic Office has just issued an all-caps warning for everyone on the state’s western coast: “MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!”

  • More than a 1.3 million people have lost power, and more than 70,000 are in shelters. About 6.5 million people were ordered to evacuate coastal areas all around the state, roughly a third of the state’s entire population.
  • At least 25 confirmed dead around the Caribbean, including 11 on French St Martin, the US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Dutch St Maarten, Barbuda, and Anguilla.
  • Hurricane Jose, also a category four storm, has shifted northward, creating hope in the eastern Caribbean that survivors might be spared a second hurricane in five days.

Guardian: Havana flooded and 5,000 tourists evacuated from coast as Irma hits Cuba

Hurricane Irma ripped roofs off houses and flooded hundreds of kilometres of coastline as it raked Cuba’s northern coast after devastating islands the length of the Caribbean.

There were no immediate reports of deaths in Cuba – a country that prides itself on its disaster preparedness – but authorities were trying to restore power, clear roads and warning that people should stay off the streets of Havana because flooding could continue into Monday.

Video images from northern and eastern Cuba showed uprooted utility poles and signs, many downed trees and extensive damage to roofs. Witnesses said a provincial museum near the eye of the storm was in ruins. And authorities in the city of Santa Clara said 39 buildings collapsed.

Current path prediction:

Irma track 9.10 jr

8 pm Sunday US eastern time is midday today here in New Zealand.

8 Comments

  1. Patzcuaro

     /  September 11, 2017

    An interesting history of South Florida and it’s relationship with water

    There is talk of building a wall. After a dike collapsed during a storm in 1928, killing 2500, Florida’s Attrney General, testifying before Congress said

    “I’ve heard it advocated that what the people ought to do is build a wall down there and keep the military there to keep people from coming in.”

    They even had a real estate bubble with properties being flipped several times in a day for profit. This ended in 1926 when Miami was flattened in a storm killing 400. Apparently the Marx Brother’s film “Cocoanuts” is based on the insanity.

    Water has been and still is the major problem. There used to be too much but we have solved that problem. Now there is too much in the wet season and too little in the dry season.

    “The problem, like most problems in South Florida, is a water problem. Half the Everglades has been drained or paved for agriculture and development, so in the rainy season, water managers have to dump excess water into estuaries and what’s left of the Everglades. Then it’s no longer available in the dry season, which is why South Florida now faces structural droughts that create wildfires in the Everglades and endanger the region’s drinking water, which happens to sit underneath the Everglades.”

    http://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2017/09/08/hurricane-irma-florida-215586

  2. Gezza

     /  September 11, 2017

    Aljav tv’s Alan Fisher reporting from Miami that Irma’s now a Category Two Hurricane.

  3. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 11, 2017

    I wonder what happened to the girls we saw who weren’t going to leave, as they seemed to think that it would be quite a lark to stay in the hotel and sit it out.

  4. Kitty Catkin

     /  September 11, 2017

    Too bizarre that people were risking their lives to steal hotel televisions etc.

    • Gezza

       /  September 11, 2017

      It’s a boy thing Kitty. The minute they tell us to get out of the way, head for shelter, avoid the danger zone – we’re off flat stick straight towards it cos it sounds like it might be a real buzz! Maybe they just thought the coos will be busy & this should be really exciting – nicking stuff in a bloody hurricane! Woohoo! Something to tell the kids, if they know where they are.

      “Yo – muthafkrs ! Ya’ll know what ah went thru to git you that?!”

      • Gezza

         /  September 11, 2017

        (* coos = cops, btw)

      • Kitty Catkin

         /  September 11, 2017

        The televisions will probably be useless if the hotel’s flooded., anyway.

        ‘Hey mates, let’s watch the noos on my noo….BANGGGGG !!!! HEY ! who turned the power off ????’