Hurricane Irma Rammed into West Coast of Florida, downgraded to Category One; 4 dead so far.
Hurricane Irma ripped through West Coast Florida like a deadly and hungry monster, munching on trees, powerlines, building cranes and houses before losing steam; 4 reported dead so far.
The hurricane sent shivers down evacuees and those still out there. The entire stretch from Keys to the Panhandle was in the grip of fear.
Hurricane Irma first slammed into Cudjoe Key before moving like a lawnmower on super high speed to Florida’s southwest and west coast. Miami is facing harrowing and dangerous flooding along long stretches of coast. Parts of Miami city is under water.
The storm would have lost its steam before it knocks at heavily populated cities of Naples, Fort Myers, St. Petersburg and Tampa. But it will have enough power to do the unexpected.
Mayor Bob Buckhorn of Tampa put it rightly when he said “Everybody has a plan until they get punched in the face,” paraphrasing boxer Mike Tyson’s statement. “Well, we’re about to get punched in the face,” he told the media.
After steamrolling over a string of Caribbean islands, Puerto Rico and Cuba, Hurricane Irma has now been downgraded on Sunday afternoon to Category 2, according to the National Hurricane Center. By early Monday morning, the storm had again been downgraded to a Category 1. Even after this downgrade, Irma will still have maximum sustained winds of 85mph (137km/h).
At least four deaths were reported in Florida after the hurricane’s arrival on Sunday, adding to a death toll of at least 27 from its Caribbean rampage. More than three million people in Florida were without power, officials said Sunday night.
Ahead of the hurricane’s arrival, curfews were declared in Collier County, which includes Naples; Lee County, which includes Fort Myers; and in Tampa.
President Donald Trump described Hurricane Irma as a “big monster” even as he approved a major disaster declaration and emergency federal aid for Florida.