Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys just a little while ago as powerful winds and rain pummeled the state, leaving at least three people dead. Nearly 500,000 households and businesses are without power.
A strong rain band is expected in the Miami area around 10 AM to noon, with gusts up to 100 MPH. The city of Naples, on Florida’s west coast, is bracing to be hit by the storm’s dangerous eye wall. Wind gusts of 75 mph were recorded at the Naples Airport and officials were warning people to stay indoors and away from windows.
The National Weather Service also warned Florida residents that being in the eye of a hurricane can lead to a false sense of security:
“If winds go calm, you’re in the eye. Stay inside! Winds dramatically shift and will do so violently! STAY INSIDE!”
The powerful Category 4 storm’s has claimed at least 3 lives already in Florida.
A man in Monroe County, which encompasses Key West, was killed after he lost control of a truck that carried a generator as winds whipped at tropical-storm strength and two other people died in a car crash in the rain in Hardee County, Florida, which is about 60 miles inland from Sarasota.
Irma so far has killed over two dozen.
As the monster storm neared, about 6.3 million Floridians were under evacuation orders and if you include evacuations in South Carolina and Georgia, that number is 6.8 million. Over 100,000 people are in shelters while others are hunkered down in their homes bracing for the storm’s impact.
CNN said on air that the Miami Herald was reporting,
“Everything in Key West is underwater. Everything.”
UPDATE: According to recent posts, Key West is not flooded out as the Herald said. Let’s hope it isn’t.
— Mike Theiss (@MikeTheiss) September 10, 2017
(via ABC News)