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Hurricane Irma Barrels Down on Florida Coast; Mandatory Evacs; Obliterates Caribbean; 20 Dead

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Hurricane Irma, the strongest Atlantic storm ever recorded, has caused an unprecedented precaution measure with Florida's Governor Rick Scott issuing a mandatory evacuation order for more than 5.6 million residents which account to nearly 25 percent of the state's population.

Already obliterating the Caribbean Islands, where officials shocked at the sheer force, is barreling down on Miami with an intensity that caused violent shaking and seismic readout, usually reserved for earthquakes, as the storm passed over the Caribbean Islands shredding everything in its path.

Irma is responsible for the deaths of twenty across the Caribbean and one death in Florida is already attributed to the killer storm as a man died after falling 15 feet while hanging Hurricane shutters.

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In the span of two hours, from 5:00pm and 7:00pm the deadly and epic storm bounced back to a Category 5 after spending much of the day downgraded to a Category 4, packing sustained winds at 155mph.

Category 5 Hurricane Force winds according to The Saffir-Simpson Hurricane scale begin at 156mph with damage at this level to be apocalyptic. The single mile wind speed separating the two categories is not a ray of hope. Irma is still a killer storm with widespread and obliterating damage expected  including 90% of framed houses will be destroyed with total roof and wall collapses. Trees and power poles will isolate neighborhoods and power outages could last for weeks or months. Most areas directly hit will NOT be inhabitable for months.

Passing over the warm water of the Caribbean, Irma intensified again regaining its Category 5 status. It has already retained the severest strength longer than any storm in history. Irma has already passed over the Caribbean Islands leaving a trail of death and devastation in its wake.

Officials are predicting catastrophic life threatening wind and storm surge of 5 to 10 feet with impact expected in the Florida Keys Saturday night and Sunday. Irma will continue hitting Orlando Monday with wind force of 105mph.

As weather modules narrowed the possible track of Irma throughout the week, Floridians understood the massive storm was likely to make landfall passing over the Keys through Miami and forming a perfect cone up forward through the state with nearly all Florida counties experiencing some level of the storms fury.  

The Keys, from Key West to Largo, West Palm Beach, home to President Trump's, Winter Whitehouse and Country Club, as well as Broward and  Miami-Dade counties have been ordered to evacuate with an expanding evacuation order increasing the size and scope to include nearly 25% of the states population..

"Mandatory evacuation for the entire town remains in effect. Please gather the essentials for three to four days including clothing, medicine, important documents and communication devices," read the town's order.

Florida haven't felt the effects of this strong a storm in nearly 25 years. Compared to Hurricane Andrew, a Category 5 storm that struck Florida in 1992 had top wind speeds at 175mph when it struck killing 65. It remains on record as the sixth costliest Atlantic storm causing 26.5billion in damage.


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Hurricane Irma is twice the size of Hurricane Andrew and expected to cause more widespread damage as its expected track is directly up through the state and into surrounding mid-Atlantic states dumping up to 20 inches of rain throughout the region.

There is no doubt Irma will make landfall in Miami. All residents should take precautions based on the information and scenes of devastation shown from nations where the killer storm has passed.

Choosing to ride out the storm is a dangerous and risky option. All storm preparations, boarding windows, filling gas tanks, securing water, batteries, transistor radios, all necessities for 72 or more hours, should be complete by Saturday morning.

If Irma remains on its present track, the outer bands of the hurricane, including high winds, dangerous surf and high surge warnings will hit Miami coast and even more the Key which will see stronger damaging winds. High winds and surf advisory will increase throughout Saturday. 

Sources: Various; Images courtesy of NASA; NOAA

 

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