Florida residents say 'we pray we make it through — Hurricane Irma

Posted September 13, 2017

Emergency responders in the Florida Keys said they pulled a man's body from his pickup truck, which had crashed into a tree in high winds.

The center of Category 4 Hurricane Irma has made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys. The storm damaged about 95% of the buildings on the island, said Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

Then Irma moved west - knocking on Hispaniola's door, brushing past Haiti and the Dominican Republic, inching its way over the northern part of Cuba, over the Turks and Caicos Islands and near the Bahamas. "Storm surge combined with waves can cause extensive damage".

Irma's threat prompted Tampa officials to order a 6 p.m. curfew for Sunday evening. "Avoid Downtown Charleston, roads already closing across the city", the Weather Service tweeted.

Trump also approved Florida's request for emergency federal aid to help rebuild once Irma passes through.

The first flight radar image shows the absence of virtually any flights over the southern part of the state Saturday. In many areas, the rain was falling heavily.

Bill Read, the former director of NOAA's National Hurricane Center, told the Capital Weather Gang that "the Keys through Tampa will likely experience the worst storm surge event that area has seen in generations".

Flood warnings covered much of eastern Georgia and extreme northeast Florida Monday morning. The storm has toppled trees and caused massive power outages throughout the area.

Irma, which prompted one of the largest evacuations in US history, was a Category 4 hurricane about 32km east-southeast of Key West, Florida, yesterday morning, the center reported.

While the entire state will be impacted, the storm made a westward turn earlier this weekend.

When will the storm clear Florida?

She said she feared the roof on her own house might not survive, adding: "I am prepared to say goodbye to my things, and that is hard".

He described whiteout conditions, with howling winds that sucked the water from the gulf side of the narrow island, where the tide is usually 8ft deep.

Florida residents who are hunkering down are documenting its impact on social media, sharing videos of flooded streets, collapsed cranes and fallen trees.

And the storm could ratchet back up in strength as it moves away from land and moves over extremely warm ocean waters.