Hurricane Irma Kills 13 in Caribbean, Multitude of Buildings, Roads, Infrastructure Damaged and Flooded

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Hurricane Irma has destroyed four buildings in St. Martin, one of the islands of the Caribbean Sea sustaining severe damage as the hurricane moves west.

As forecast, Hurricane Irma hit northeast Caribbean islands, deluging the islands with rain and high winds of 180 mph. At least 10 people are reported killed by the hurricane. Hurricane Irma has killed at least 10 people. At least one person was killed in the northeast Caribbean island of Anguilla. At least eight people are reported killed and 23 injured in the French Caribbean island territories of St. Martin and the exclusive island of St. Barthelemy. A 2-year-old child was killed as a family was attempting to escape a damaged home in the sovereign state of Barbuda — specifically the island of Barbuda. Later Thursday morning, three people were reported killed in Puerto Rico.

The hurricane caused heavy damage in several islands, including Barbuda, St. Martin and the British Virgin Islands. Hurricane force winds tore roofs off buildings and shattered windows. High winds from a surging hurricane seawater battered coastline hotels.

The National Hurricane Center described Irma as “extremely dangerous” and attention is now turned toward Florida as Hurricane Irma, among the strongest storms on record for the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean is headed toward South Florida, and expected to start causing damage by Saturday and Sunday.

On Thursday morning there is no certainty whether Hurricane Irma will make landfall on the US mainland. Computer models show it could hit Florida’s southeast coast by late Sunday.

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DAMAGE REPORT

— Barbuda was a major hit, with over 90% of buildings damaged. Prime Minister Gaston Browne reported the damage as “unprecedented destruction and absolutely devastating,” estimating the damage to be $100 million. Many power lines, telecommunications systems and cell towers were destroyed.

– Many roofs destroyed and flooding in St. Barthelemy

– Wreckage of light aircraft reported in Anguilla

– Palm trees stripped at Royal Islander Club Sint Maarten

– Partial building collapses and roof damage with debris in Sint Marten

– Eden Rock Hotel on St Barthelemy heavily damage with sections under water and debris visible.

– St Martin boats damaged in harbor, many vehicles damage on roads under water.

– About 56,680 people are without water in Puerto Rico, with the nation’s northeast the hardest-hit, according to Jesus Poupart of emergency operations center.

– In San Juan, Puerto Rico about 900,000 customers are without power.

– Collapsed buildings and severe roof damage in Puerto Rico.

DEVELOPING …

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STORM FACTS

The eye of Hurricane Irma passed directly over Barbuda on Wednesday about 1:47 a.m., leaving 1,800 residents on the 62 sq mi island without communications. By early Thursday morning, the eye of Hurricane Irma was 140 miles northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Hurricane Irma has maintained intensity above 180 mph longer than any storm in Atlantic basin history.

The tropical storm force wind field from Irma stretches over 300 miles from end to end. If Hurricane Irma were centered over New York City, the tropical storm force winds would stretch from Baltimore to Boston.

Hurricane Irma had a 914 mb lifetime minimum central pressure – lowest since Dean (2007) and 10th lowest in satellite era (since 1966), and also lowest pressure by an Atlantic
hurricane outside of the western Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico on record,

2.25 days as a Category 5 hurricane marks the 4th longest Atlantic hurricane at Category 5
strength on record.

Hurricane Irma had 185 mph max winds for 37 hours – the longest any cyclone around the globe has maintained that intensity on record. The previous record was Haiyan in the NW Pacific at 24 hours

Irma is one of three active hurricanes in the Atlantic basin — the last time three hurricanes were located in the Atlantic basin was in 2010. Hurricane Jose is in the open Atlantic far to the southeast of Irma. Katia is in the Gulf of Mexico near Mexico.

A hurricane warning is in effect for some areas in Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos Islands.

A hurricane warning is in effect for the central and southeastern Bahamas.

In the Bahamas, emergency evacuations have been ordered for six southern islands — Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island. “This is the largest such evacuation in the history of the country,” according to Prime Minister of the Bahamas Hubert Minnis. Some of the (Bahamian) islands aren’t more than 9 feet above sea level and may be overcome by storm surges of 20 feet.

FLORIDA PREPARATIONS

Gov. Rick Scott urged Florida residents to heed any evacuation order.

Miami-Dade County ordered people evacuated in some areas, especially mobile homes and barrier islands.

In Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale and other cities north of Miami, a mandatory evacuation will go into effect at noon Thursday September 6, 2017 for some areas —
the evacuation zone includes low-lying areas.

Hurricane watches may be issued for parts of South Florida and the Keys on Thursday.

Many Floridians spent Wednesday stocking up on food or making plans to head inland, as Gov. Rick Scott warned a “storm surge could cover your house. We can rebuild homes — we cannot rebuild your family.”







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Captain Eric King, commanding officer of Coast Guard Sector San Juan, updates rescue and relief efforts

Over 90 percent of all structures on the Caribbean island were damaged by Hurricane Irma.

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