Science

Significant winds bear down on Florida Keys

Significant winds bear down on Florida Keys”

"Eye of Irma beginning to move slowly away from the coast of Cuba while weather is deteriorating in south Florida", where the hurricane is headed, the U.S. National Hurricane Center reported.

Even as Irma takes aim at Florida's west coast, both coasts of the peninsula can expect storm surge.

Nearly 16 percent of central and south Florida have lost power and widespread outages are expected as the storm progresses. The storm is expected to make landfall in Florida early Sunday.

While the projected track showed Irma raking the state's Gulf Coast, forecasters warned that the entire state, including the Miami metropolitan area of six million people, was in extreme peril from the monstrously wide storm.

The Category 4 strike on the Keys, following Hurricane Harvey's landfall on the Texas coast as a Category 4 storm, makes this the first year in recorded history in which two Category 4 storms hit the United States.

Puerto Rico's governor says there will be no classes on Monday because hundreds of schools still do not have power or water after the island took a hit from Hurricane Irma. The head of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said anyone who stayed on the Keys will have to wait for help if they need it.

Now a Category 3 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 120 miles per hour, Irma is expected to get stronger as it moves over the warm water of the Florida Straits.

"You've just got to have plenty of beer, Captain Morgan, vodka, (and) you'll get through", said Griffin, 52.

Approximately 44,457 SC residents are affected by the evacuations that went into effect Saturday morning on barrier islands in Beaufort, Colleton and Jasper counties, with the vast majority on Hilton Head Island.

Meanwhile, Scott acknowledged the fuel shortage that Irma had caused will likely continue, despite the state's efforts to ensure extra supply. Some 2,000 members are helping in about 200 shelters across the state, Calhoun said.

As much as 20 inches of rain was predicted through Wednesday across the Florida peninsula and southeast Georgia, and maximum wind gusts above 100 miles per hour are expected in much of western Florida. "We're in a concrete building in the fourth floor".

Editor's note: This is a developing story that is being constantly updated as the storm progresses.

In the fishing town of Caibarien, residents swept mud from beachside homes after storm surge drove 3 feet (1 meter) of seawater up the shore.

"At the moment, it's not so high, but there's times when it rises and you must run inside", she said.

Florida cities such as Naples, Sarasota, and Tampa are in or near the forecast path of the storm's eye. Some people in South Florida could be without electricity for weeks.

"As the people off the Gulf Coast just begin to sift through the damage brought by Hurricane Harvey, our nation, tragically, must attempt to comprehend the approach of Hurricane Irma", he said in a statement September 9.

But then Irma made a more pronounced westward shift - the result of what meteorologists said was an atmospheric tug-of-war between weather systems that nudged Irma and determined when it made its crucial right turn into Florida.



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