Irma Muscles Harvey out of Headlines as Massive Devastation Reported in Wake; Jose Threatens Threepeat

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Hurricane Irma has muscled Houston's devastating Hurricane Harvey out of the headlines as the killer storm leaves an unbelievable display of force, strength and devastation across some of the most pristine and populated Caribbean Islands.

Hurricane Irma's path has veered slightly west, shifting slightly since landfall with the mountainous region of Cuba, sparing Miami a direct hit and dropping winds to 130mph which while only 25mph is enough to reduce the storm to a Category 4.

Hurricane Harvey, also a Category 4 Hurricane was forecasted as a rain event, as the system stalled over the warm waters of the Gulf absorbing unprecedented amounts of moisture and releasing nearly 26trillion gallons of water between its two landfalls, in Houston and again in Louisiana.


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Hurricane Irma is not expected to stall at any point. All trajectories have the storm moving in a perfect cone shape up the western side of Miami, with Tampa Bay taking a direct hit and Miami feeling strong wind gusts and just outside cone module and storm surge.

As Hurricanes are unpredictable, the only caveat to this new path is the distance, the 225 miles between Cuba and where landfall is predicted. Should Irma stay on the exact track the storm's eye stays over the warm gulf water for 24 hours which could feed this giant killing, shredding machine regenerating the storms intensity bouncing the wind speeds back up and making landfall as a Category 5.  

While it is difficult to predict if the storm will regenerate, with little land between Cuba and the U.S. mainland the breakup that most Hurricanes experience when they encounter land is minimal and nearly non-existent even as Irma passes over the Florida Keys.

Irma will continue up the western side of Florida and by Monday, September 11, 2017, the remnants of the storm will dump heavy rains all day Monday and into Tuesday, from mid-Florida to Wilmington, North Carolina. Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tennessee and Kentucky will also experience heavy rains. Significant waves will batter the Florida and Georgia coastlines through Monday.

Apocalyptic Damage

Residents of Florida have been encouraged and in some cases mandated to evacuate the area of Miami and upwards totally 5million residents. The Governor of Georgia, Nathan Deal, has ordered more than 500,000 residents to evacuate. Tampa Bay area residents, especially in low lying areas where storm surge of possibility 12 to 15 foot is expected.

At press time, Naples is beginning to feel the initial bands of wind gusts and in the distance lightning strikes as Irma moves forward with ferocious intensity. At the beaches in Naples and at Sanibel Island, storm surge closer to magnitude of Hurricane Katrina is expected.


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Miami residents, more accustomed to Hurricane preparation took heed and covered their homes and business, took to higher ground if they decided to stay, as some did, staying the in the Coral Gables area. God speed.

Those in the path of Irma can look at the trail of death and devastation in its wake to understand the potential of damage expected. Americans are expecting their structures to fare better than those in the island nations of in the British Virgin Islands, Turks and Caicos, and Dutch/French Island of St. Maarten and St. Martin.

St. Maarten/St. Martin

Dutch/French officials have both described the devastation to the jointly held St. Maarten/St. Martin as enormous; unprecedented.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte told the AP the storm "caused wide-scale destruction of infrastructure, houses and businesses."

"There is no power, no gasoline, no running water. Houses are under water, cars are floating through the streets, inhabitants are sitting in the dark in ruined houses and are cut off from the outside world," he said as reported by CBS.

The Dutch airport is unreachable making rescue and first responder assistance impossible. Military has been deployed to keep looters away. A curfew in now in place. U.S. estimates nearly 6,000 Americans are trapped in this once pristine vacationers paradise.

On the French side of St. Martin, "Our priority is to restore electricity and to install generators so that we can have drinking water again," he added. "We are lucky our airport was not destroyed" as reported by CNN.

Barbuda

Barbuda experienced widespread devastation. Ariel shots show structures shredded; like a giant weed trimmer came along and took houses apart at the foundations. Wooden structures are decimated; No real word from first responders on the extent of damage except to say from Ariel footage it appears total with at least 95% of the island suffering some damage.

Barbuda experienced a 20 foot storm surge, an additional 20 inches of rain and have experienced widespread flooding in low lying areas.

Residents of Barbuda will barely have time to seek additional shelter as Hurricane Jose, now a Category 4, is on a direct path following nearly the same trajectory through the Island nations. 

Sources: Various; Images: NOAA

 

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