Hurricane Irma made landfall on Florida this morning it the eye of the storm hit Key West at around 9.10am, bringing it with sustained winds of 130mph, as well as rain and threats of tornadoes in what is expected to be one of the worst storms to hit the area in living memory.
The state thought it had escaped the worst case scenario earlier in the weekend as the storm was downgraded to Category 3 – but late Saturday night it re-energized and was upgraded back to Category 4, the second-worst level, with gusts of up to 144mph.
Now downtown Miami is flooded and the Keys have been slammed hard. And this is only the beginning for the US, as Irma is set to move northwest, threatening Naples and other cities up the west coast of Florida as the wears on.
‘Pray, pray for everybody in Florida,’ Governor Rick Scott said on Fox News Sunday.
A man was killed after tropical-storm-strength winds caused him to lose control of the truck he was driving through Monroe County, which contains Key West. He had been carrying a generator, local officials told ABC News.
Two others died in a car accident in Hardee County, Florida, the Florida Highway Patrol said. The area is around 60 miles inland from Sarasota.
And an elderly man died of natural causes while sheltering in a school in the city of Marathon on the Keys, Larry Kahn, an editor for FlKeysNews.com, said.
‘He was staying in one of the classrooms,’ Khan explained. ‘Police came up, along with a couple of nurses who are here, actually, got everyone out of the room and sealed it off.’
Those deaths come after Irma claimed at least 25 lives in the Caribbean as it swept over several countries, destroying entire islands.
Meanwhile, more than a million people have been left without power across the state, while storm surges of 10-15 feet have been predicted around the Everglades, where lower land exacerbates the floods.
Highs of 5-10 feet have been predicted in Miami, where at least one crane has been destroyed on a high-rise.
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Source: Daily Mail