Sunday, 24 September, 2017

Irma closes in with Tampa, not Miami, in the crosshairs

Irma evacuees find full hotels but a warm welcome in Georgia The latest: Hurricane Irma closes in on Florida
Sammy Stanley | 13 September, 2017, 03:54

Wind gusts near hurricane force began to batter the Florida Keys late on Saturday, the NHC said, with Key West seeing gusts of up to 89 miles per hour on Sunday morning and water levels about 2 feet (61 cm) above normal.

In line with the he National Hurricane Center (NHC) Irma would continue to move northwards, and reach southeastern United States late Monday and Tuesday.

President Donald Trump received a "comprehensive update" Sunday on Hurricane Irma after the storm hit the Florida Keys, the White House said, and Vice President Mike Pence urged those in the storm's path to "heed the warnings" of local officials.

Most outages were in Florida Power & Light's service area in the southern and eastern parts of the state where the storm made landfall. A storm surge warning is in effect for Tampa Bay with forecasters warning the potential exists for 3-5 feet surge in surge prone areas.

A GIF created by Joel Nihlean shows combined satellite images of both storms to show how massive size Irma is.

Hurricane Irma is so strong that it is pulling water away from coastlines, an unusual phenomenon taking place in certain areas of Florida's west coast.

"What we really fear more than anything is that storm surge", Buckhorn told CNN's Anderson Cooper on Sunday.

Irma: Record flooding in Jacksonville as Georgia braces for epic storm surge
Key West, Marco Island , FL, and Naples, FL, all appear to have sustained significant water damage from the storm surge and winds. On the Atlantic coast off South Carolina, Hilton Head Island's 42,000 residents were under an evacuation order this morning.

The hurricane carried maximum sustained winds of up to 295 kph when it crashed into Barbuda island on Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its 2 a.m. advisory that Irma was about 25 miles northeast of the Tampa-St.

The city, located on Florida's west coast, was hit by Irma around 5 p.m., and parts of the town are facing significant flooding.

"The current forecast has Irma dumping up to 6" of rain (possibly more in isolated spots) in parts of Georgia and SC. "But I'm also very concerned about the storm surge", Gov. Rick Scott said on "Face the Nation".

The city government issued a flash-flood emergency Monday morning, ordering people to go inside and stay there.

Gov. Henry McMaster also says floodwaters and downed trees have closed more than 80 roads in SC. In total, almost 7 million people have been ordered to evacuate in the USA ahead of Irma's arrival.

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