Hurricane Irma beat Florida on Saturday, leaving a trail of death and destruction in the Caribbean, one of the largest evacuations of emergency in American history.
The storm moved to the west, putting the Florida Keys in her crossed hair and prompting officials to open more shelters. It was expected that tropical winds and potentially fatal storm surges would begin to hit the Keys around noon. Storms will threaten the West Coast of Florida on Sunday, where more than 3 million people live, and entire neighborhoods stretching from Naples to Tampa Bay could be submerged.
Irma landed in Cuba on Friday night as a category 5 hirah, hitting the north coast of the island with a direct hit. It became the first Category 5 hurricane to land in Cuba since 1924.
The hurricane was lowered to Category 3 around 11 am Saturday, with winds of 125 ph, but it was expected to further strengthen on Florida. About 19 million people in the state were sentenced from their homes.
"The storm is here," said Governor Rick Scott on Saturday morning, noting that the storm could reach 15 feet in some places
"Fifteen feet are devastating and will cover your home, did he declare. "
• At least 25 years of age, the most important of which is the storm, people were confirmed dead Saturday morning in storm-hit areas
• The Irma core is expected to reach the Florida Keys by Sunday morning with an eye on the storm. track to tear between the cities of Key West and Marathon. "THIS IS REALLY AS LOCATION," said the National Weather Service. "NOT BETWEEN THE KEYS OF FLORIDA WILL BE SAFE". The National Hurricane Center warned of "potentially lethal losses and winds". Check out our maps on the storm.
• In addition to the evacuation order in Miami, one of the largest evacuations in the country, 540,000 people were invited to leave the coast of Georgia. Alabama, North Carolina and South Carolina have declared states of emergency.
• Hurricane Jose, transformed into category 4, headed for the Leeward Islands. On St. Martin, already devastated by Irma, Dutch sailors dropped the planes from a helicopter that warned the locals to head for shelters.
• Hurricane Katia, which landed on the eastern coast of Mexico, was decommissioned in a tropical depression. Winds of 35 mph Two people died in a mud slide in the state of Veracruz after the storm hit, reported the Associated Press.
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Governor to the Floridians: evacuate now
At a press conference on Saturday morning, Governor Rick Scott urged the Floridians to consider evacuation orders and seek refuge immediately.
"Evacuate," he said. "Not tonight, not in an hour. You have to go right now."
He reassured those who still delayed that they would not have to leave the state. More than 260 shelters were already operating in each county, with 70 other flights open throughout the day.
The evacuation routes throughout the state have moved regularly, said the governor, adding that he had sent other soldiers the state to maintain
"Remember this," he said, "Once the storm begins, law enforcement can not save you."
Florida ports were closed for the duration of the storm, cutting off access to additional fuel. Governor Scott said fuel trucks would continue to replenish the service stations as long as possible and announced that he had waived import taxes for the next few days to allow for a rapid replenishment as soon as possible. storm had passed.
Volunteers were needed in shelters serving people with special needs. "We need more nurses," the governor said, asking those who wanted to work to send an email to [email protected] "All available nurses, if you want to answer."
Rob Gould, the Florida Power & Light Company's public information officer, said the company was expecting 3.4 million customers are affected by the storm. Some parts of the electrical system will have to be fully rebuilt, said Mr. Gould, the company expecting the weight of damage in the western part of the state.
"Probably on the east coast, we will see a restoration, but on the west coast, a complete reconstruction," he said. "We expect this restoration effort will be measured in weeks and not days." AITLIN DICKERSON
Window to leave Florida Keys closes quickly
Emergency management officials in Monroe County, which covers most of the keys, urged anyone who is still there to go out immediately. "There is still a small window to exit, but it closes quickly," said Martin Senterfitt, director of emergency management for Monroe County.
The situation is so serious that no official shelter is operating on the Keys, although four last resort refuges are only available when the storm has passed and it is prudent to leave . Fuel is available only on the mainland, where Monroe County operates two shelters.
Even the first responders evacuate the High Keys, due to the forecast. The roads in Monroe County now have light traffic.
The Sea Oates beach in Islamorada is expected to become a must in the late afternoon until early in the evening, when water flooding is likely to increase from 1 to 3 feet above the road bed, according to Jon Rizzo, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Key West. With all the hospitals and emergency rooms in the Keys closed and the Trauma Star air ambulances having evacuated to Alabama, people are asked to drive with caution.
"This is a very difficult storm to survive if you are in the Keys," Governor Scott said Saturday. "I pray for everyone in the Keys who stayed there." AITLIN DICKERSON
A dangerous ice storm
The winds of Hurricane Irma are fierce. But the storm surge could also cause tremendous damage to coastal cities.
"It sinks very fast," Governor Scott said on the waters that are expected to rush into parts of the state. "This will go faster, maybe you."
The National Hurricane Center provides a map of the potential storm of Irma, and Saturday's 5-hour forecasts suggested a rough climb near Naples up to nine feet.
More detailed projections can be found on the adcirc.org website, which is devoted to a highly respected suite of computer programs that form a ramp-up. Rick Luettich, one of Adcirc's leading developers and director of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Science, said the current map of Florida under the models "looks a bit ugly," what he recognized, was an understatement.
"For years we have been thinking about areas of the country that are particularly vulnerable to hurricanes, especially storms," said Dr. Luettich. The city of New York, New Orleans, Houston and Miami are still at the top of the list. "It's almost as if we were going down the list and checking them," he said.
Site projections, which are based on National Hurricane Center forecasts and updated with each new forecast, allow users to view a given report and see what would happen if the runway storm exceeds 50 percent in the west or east. (To try this, go to the map, lower the board / track tab and move your cursor over any report.)
With this storm, said Dr. Luettich, these changes can mean major differences in the destructive storm for the coasts of the Atlantic or Gulf in Florida and further down the Atlantic coast. – JOHN SCHWARTZ
The storm makes a direct hit on Cuba
Hurricane Irma landed Friday night in the Camagüey archipelago in Cuba. The trajectory of the storm took a lot of surprise: Cuban meteorologists had not predicted a direct hit.
The storm's eye, which was enhanced from a category 4 hurricane, waved the keys north of the main island at 11 pm .
The storm not only put the residents in peril, but also increased the prospect of economic damage: more than 50 hotels on the keys bring tourists and currencies very necessary for Cuba.
the island's fastest growing economy, tourism has exploded since the United States and Cuba announced a plan to re-establish diplomatic relations.
Although forced for the worst, there had been the feeling that Cuba would escape scale of damage in other Caribbean islands.
The Esmeraldo Meteorological Center in Camagüey recorded winds of more than 124 miles per hour before some of the time gauge was crushed. State media reported waves of more than 16 feet high and damage to hospitals, factories and warehouses.
Electricity in much of the Cuban north coast had been cut since Friday afternoon.
In Punta Alegre, coastal village of the province of Ciego de Ávila, fishermen used nets to tie their wooden houses to the ground. The fishing boats were nestled in a thick mangrove to minimize the destruction.
At 3 o'clock in the morning, the extent of the damage remained unclear, but state television provided insights. A crew of the local camera in the town of Ciego de Ávila broadcast images of felled trees and broken streetlights on the road outside the studio.
Close to one million people were evacuated before the storm hit Cuba. Tens of thousands of tourists were evacuated from the seaside resorts, were transported to the interior in a convoy of buses flanked by police vehicles. The authorities also evacuated six dolphins per helicopter from a station on the island of Cayo Guillermo.
The country has also prepared other preparations. Earlier in the week, the state was overloaded to harvest rice and fruit in the lower regions of the province of Granma in the southeast part of the island. The livestock was moved to higher ground all over the country.
Schools and most businesses have been closed to the east and center of the island. Trains, coaches and domestic air services were canceled.
Irma should move west, approaching the center of Cuba on Saturday night.
Havana should avoid the weight of the storm and the mood in the capital has become less tense after meteorologists have revised their projections. They are now saying that Irma will cut the north sooner than expected. However, the authorities in Havana are expecting floods.
Residents of the capital boiled water, bought candles and stored on bread, just in case.
The Bahamas are preparing for more
Residents of the western Bahamas prepared for Irma on Saturday morning, even when the 39 hurricane has torn the walls of the sea, destroyed houses and roads eroded on the nearby southern and central islands.
Severe floods have been reported on Acklins, where the settlement of Salina Point has been completely cut off from the rest of the island, according to early reports from this region.
"There has been significant damage to the houses on Ragged Island, and in some parts of Acklins there has been a lot of road erosion. from Morton Salt to Inagua was also severely damaged. Crooked Island suffered a lot of damage to the roof, "said Dion Foulkes, Minister of Affairs and Affairs of the Bahamas, and a liaison with the National Agency emergency management in Nassau.
He said the stone structures had worked well the storm and so far there have been no reports of death or injuries.
As soon as conditions permit, the Jamaican Defense Force agreed to survey the affected Bahamian Islands to determine the extent of the damage. Hubert Minnis, Prime Minister of the Bahamas.
Bimini, Grand Bahama and Andros are expected to be the last group of Bahamian islands affected by Irma, beginning from Sunday to Monday morning.
About 300 residents of Bimini were evacuated and West End residents, Grand Bahama, were prompted to move east.
Dillon Knowles, 56, was busy making last-minute preparations on Saturday to secure PharmaChem Technologies, a chemical manufacturing operation on Grand Bahama.
"Most people here are prepared," said Mr. Knowles. And just as we have done in the past, we will sit down and wait.
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