It’s been a week since Hurricane Harvey made landfall and began pummeling southeastern Texas. Now, Hurricane Irma has devastated the Caribbean islands and it making a beeline for Florida. The Category 5 storm has claimed at least 12 lives so far. As the storm heads west, evacuations have been put into effect in south Florida to move residents further north, away from the path of devastation. Here’s what’s happened so far.
Hurricane Irma has cut a path of devastation through the Caribbean killing 12 people so far.
Hurricane Irma left Barbuda in shambles, damaging 95% of its buildings and leaving the island “barely habitable” https://t.co/bo09cpMDaR
— The New York Times (@nytimes) September 7, 2017
Irma has destroyed more than 90 percent of homes in the Caribbean country of Barbuda. Businesses, banks, public institutions, schools, and emergency services have been shut down on the various islands impacted by the storm and residents were urged to take shelter.
Puerto Rico survived the storm as Hurricane Irma narrowly missed hitting the island head on. Still, power failures plague the island nation.
— The Hill (@thehill) September 7, 2017
According to the Miami Herald, Puerto Rico, which has been suffering serious financial problems, could be without power in some areas for up to six months. The notice by public officials went out before the storm grazed the northern part of Puerto Rico. The New York Times reports that 70 percent of Puerto Rico was without power early Thursday.
Rescue and relief efforts are already underway for the islands that have been hit.
FEMA has deployed teams to the Caribbean to prepare for search & rescue efforts in Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands. https://t.co/K5mCX6xZLo
— NPR (@NPR) September 7, 2017
Dutch, French, British, and American personnel have been dispatched to the Caribbean islands that have been hit by the storm. Many of the Caribbean islands are territories of foreign countries, meaning that the aforementioned governments will be important players in all recovery efforts. At its peak, Hurricane Irma was delivering 185 mph winds which leveled buildings and decimated entire communities.
As the storm makes its way through the Dominican Republic and Haiti, the Bahamas, Cuba, and Florida are bracing for impact.
NWS: Eye of Cat. 5 Hurricane Irma is currently just north of Hispaniola — about 680 miles from Miami and about 745 miles from Key West.
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) September 7, 2017
The storm is expected to hit the southern tip of the Bahamas and the north coast of Cuba, including the capitol city Havana. Evacuation orders have been put into effect for residents and tourists of the Florida Keys.
Survivors on the islands are sharing videos and photos of the destruction as a warning for those who are in the path of Hurricane Irma.
— CNN (@CNN) September 7, 2017
Florida Governor Rick Scott has suspended all tolls on Florida roadways to allow for residents to evacuate from the storm.
Florida Gov. Scott says state is coordinating with Google's emergency response team to mark closed roads in real-time on Google Maps pic.twitter.com/T4NwVnyOv8
— CBS News (@CBSNews) September 7, 2017
Florida has also partnered with Google Maps to show real-time street closures as the storm impacts the state.
Yet, for the Caribbean islands already devastated by Hurricane Irma, there is no break from wind and rain as Hurricane Jose strengthens into a Category 3 storm. It is expected to follow Hurricane Irma’s path.
Hurricane Jose with well defined eye seen on visible satellite. Will become a major storm & sadly head toward islands destroyed by Irma. pic.twitter.com/77OD0wBElR
— Ryan Maue (@RyanMaue) September 7, 2017
Stay safe. Evacuate if officials say so. Click here to get updates on the different hurricanes currently active.