Hurricane Irma wreaks havok in Florida

Photo credit: www.foxnews.com-
Photo credit: www.foxnews.com-

Weather forecasts have shown that the storm which hit Florida on Sunday morning at Category four is currently at the state of a tropical storm.

Hurricane Irma, which killed at least 24 people in the Caribbean, has killed one in Florida, a man found dead in his pickup truck, which crashed into a tree in high winds, Reuters reports showed.

CNN reports have also shown that 127,000 people have evacuated their homes for shelters and 5.8 million are without power in Florida as the hurricane thumps the coastal cities of Florida.

Irma prompted one of the largest evacuations in the history of the United States as over six million were ordered to evacuate the city after a destructive march up Cuba’s northern coast.

The storm winds downed one construction crane and shook tall buildings in Miami, which was about 100 miles (160 km) from Irma’s core

The storm was considered a life-threatening danger to Florida and is said to be able to inflict a natural disaster causing billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous U.S. state.

Storm surges pushed by a high tide were forecast to be as high as 15 feet (4.6 m) for low-lying area along the state’s west coast on Sunday.

Tracking models showed Irma would hit the Keys and head along Florida’s west coast, bringing 120 mph wind gusts to the state that is a majortourism hub, with an economy that comprises about five per cent of U.S. gross domestic product.

All of southern Florida felt the effects of the storm creeping towards the shore, with at least one man killed, a woman forced to deliver her own baby, apartment towers swaying in high winds and trees uprooted.

The National Hurricane Center, NHC, said the storm had maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour (195 kph), dropping it to a Category 3, the midpoint of the five-step Saffir-Simpson scale.

Extraordinarily low tides, with sea life visible and boats grounded were seen in Tampa and Hurricane Bays, although forecasters warned the storm would soon drive those waters back in with storm surges of up to 15 feet (4.6 m) along the state’s western Gulf Coast.

Small white-capped waves could be seen in flooded streets between Miami office towers.

Irma has been one of the most powerful hurricanes ever seen in the Atlantic, pummeling Cuba with 36-foot (11 metre) waves on Sunday.

Its core was located about 30 miles (48 km) south of Naples by 2 p.m. ET (1800 GMT) on Sunday and was expected to move along or over Florida’s western coast through the afternoon and evening. Tornadoes were also spotted through the region.

Waves poured over a Miami seawall, flooding streets waist-deep in places around Brickell Avenue which runs a couple of blocks from the waterfrontthrough the financial district and past consulates. High-rise apartment buildings were left standing like islands in the flood.

Hurricane Irma comes just days after Hurricane Harvey dumped record-setting rain in Texas, causing unprecedented flooding, killing at least 60 people and an estimated $180 billion in property damage. Almost three months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November.

United States President, Donald Trump, spoke to the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee on Sunday and issued a disaster declaration for Puerto Rico, which was hit by the storm last week, the White House said.


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