Hurricane Irma: “Nowhere In The Florida Keys Will Be Safe. You Still Have Time To Escape” – US Govt

by Kim Boateng Posted on September 9th, 2017

Miami, Florida. Sept 8th: HORROR warning as US government tells Florida Keys ‘NOWHERE IS SAFE’. The National Weather Service (NWS) has issued a horrifying warning to Florida residents under the looming threat of Hurricane Irma. The Government agency shared maps of Irma ahead of landfall on the Florida Coast. And in a terrifying, all capitalized tweet, the Key West bureau of the agency told residents:

Meanwhile Emergency services in Florida have warned residents they will stop answering to calls once Hurricane Irma’s deadly winds hit the state. Pasco County public safety administrator Kevin Guthrie said:”If you have a heart attack, if you have a stroke, if you have some type of medical emergency, we will not come and help you.

The county is located in one of the areas expected to be hit by Hurricane Irma’s devastating force.

Winds from Hurricane Irma, already the most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record, on Friday picked up speed as it barreled toward Florida, prompting Gov. Rick Scott to urge all Floridians to evacuate.

“Based on what we know, the majority of Florida will have major hurricane impact and deadly winds,” Scott said in a news conference. “We expect this along the entire East Coast and West Coast.”

At 5 p.m. Eastern, Irma was about 345 miles southeast of Miami, with winds reaching speeds of 155 miles an hour, according to the National Hurricane Center. The hurricane was projected to reach the Florida Keys and southern tip of the peninsula by Sunday morning.  Hurricane Jose was right behind it.

The first hurricane hunter plane to make contact with Jose, on Friday morning, found it “much stronger than previously estimated,” the National Hurricane Center said. The hurricane, which is smaller than Irma but packing winds that are blowing just as fast, is forecast to pass near or east of the Leeward Islands by Saturday.

Multiple counties issued mandatory evacuation orders spanning their entire county, including St. Johns, Nassau, Glynn, Camden, Atlantic Beach, and Flagler.

“This is a catastrophic storm that this state has never seen,” Gov. Scott said Friday.

If you’re directed to evacuate due to #Irma and need a safe place to go, you can find a list of shelters in our app: — FEMA (@fema) September 8, 2017

The long line of evacuees were clogging highways and there were concerns about gasoline shortages across the state, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Photo: Hurricane Irma evacuation

Harvey, Irma and Jose would be the first time on record 3 consecutive Atlantic named storms have reached Cat. 4

Hurricane warnings are in effect for the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay, Jupiter Inlet, and further into central Florida, and states of emergency have been declared in Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas.

President Donald Trump’s seaside Mar-a-Lago resort was also ordered to evacuate beginning Friday morning, along with the barrier islands and low-lying areas of Palm Beach County. Trump has owned the private golf club since 1985. The president has vacationed and conducted business there numerous times early in his presidency, including hosting Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other foreign leaders, sometimes raising controversy over security.

Irma has already rampaged through a string of Caribbean islands, leaving at least 19 people dead and many injured. The tiny island of Barbuda of about 1,600 inhabitants has been “totally demolished,” while 95% of St. Martin—a popular destination with U.S. and European travelers—has been destroyed. The Red Cross estimates that at least 1.2 million people have been battered by Irma.

Puerto Rico narrowly avoided a direct hit as the eye moved northwest about 50 miles offshore, but were still lashed with rains and heavy winds. Nearly 900,000 people were reportedly without power, and the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority gave a stunning warning Wednesday that parts of the island could be without electricity for up to six months.

Cruise operators have been forced to cancel and reroute sailings, while thousands of flights have been delayed or canceled due to Irma.

Hurricane Jose is on its way to the Caribbean islands of Barbuda, St. Martin and Anguilla, all of which have already taken heavy damage from Irma. A Hurricane Watch is in effect for all three islands, and rainfall of up to 5 inches is expected to maintain or even add to existing flooding.

Additionally, Katia, a Category 1 hurricane, is still strengthening in the Mexican Gulf, and now has maximum sustained winds of 105 miles an hour. A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Cabo Rojo to Laguna Verde.

The center of the storm will make landfall in Mexico later Friday or early Saturday. “Some intensification” was possible before landfall, followed by “rapid weakening,” the NHC said in its latest advisory.

Florida Braces As Hurricane Irma Batters Barbuda. Heads To Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico

Miami, Florida. Sept  6th. Hurricane Irma, now a category 5 storm, has passed directly over the Caribbean island of Barbuda, and swiped its sister island of Antigua, lashing both with winds of up to 185mph (295kph) and heavy rain. The US National Hurricane Center (NHC) says Irma, which has become the most powerful ever recorded over the Atlantic Ocean, is “potentially catastrophic” and warns that “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion” in the islands in its immediate path.

Irma continues to move in a west-north-westerly direction, with Anguilla and St Kitts & Nevis next in its path. The British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and the Bahamas are also due to be hit. A mandatory evacuation of islands in the southern Bahamas will take place on Wednesday.

The French interior ministry has issued a high alert for those on the French overseas collectivities of St Martin and St Barthélemy.

The NHC has also warned of heavy rainfalls of around 8-12 inches (20-30cm), and up to 20 inches (50cm) in some areas. It cautions: These rains could cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides.

The Saffir-Simpson hurricane wind scale describes category 5 as:
Catastrophic damage will occur: A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas.

Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.

Photo: Hurricane Irma

The US National Hurricane Center says a hurricane warning remains in place for the following islands:

Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis
Saba, St Eustatius and St Maarten
Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy
British Virgin Islands
US Virgin Islands
Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra
Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti

People on those islands are warned that Irma is is “potentially catastrophic” and the NHC has urged that “preparations to protect life and property should be rushed to completion” in the islands in its immediate path.

Bahamas prime minister Hubert Minnis says his government has ordered a mandatory evacuation of islands in the southern part of the island chain because of Hurricane Irma. Minnis says the category 5 storm poses a dire threat to the islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island.

People who live on the islands will be flown on Wednesday to Nassau on the island of New Providence. Minnis says it will be the largest hurricane evacuation in the history of the Bahamas.People who don’t evacuate will be at “great danger” from storm surge caused by what he called a “monster” hurricane. Minnis says emergency personnel may not be available to rescue them when the storm is at its height between Thursday and Friday.

As Hurricane Irma gains strength and moves across the Atlantic Ocean, many residents in South Florida have begun preparing for the storm. Residents took advantage of the Labor Day holiday to fill hurricane survival kits. Many were seen stocking up on supplies like water, food, gas and sandbags. Others shopped for generators in case of power outages.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday for the state’s 67 counties. He urged “all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news,” as well as visit to prepare.

“I have declared a state of emergency for every FL county to help state, federal and local governments work together as we prepare for Irma…In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared,” Scott said

In Miami-Dade County, officials can sign up for email or text alerts for public safety issues. Residents can use the county’s SAFE app to find open evacuation centers in their area.

In the Florida Keys, Monroe County officials have activated their emergency management team. Residents can sign up for emergency alerts and reach their emergency hotline at 1-800-955-5504.

Irma is forecast to then travel on through Haiti and the Dominican Republic, Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, Cuba and potentially to hit Florida before the weekend.

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