After Florida Keys, Hurricane Irma will slam Tampa, St. Petersburg, forecast shows

13 Septembre, 2017, 16:33 | Auteur: Edgar Lajoie
  • 'Get Out Now!' Hurricane Irma Threatens Historic Disaster for Florida

Hurricane Irma, which has made landfall in Marco Island on the southwest coast of the US state of Florida, will cause life-threatening wind and storm surge, the US National Hurricane Service (NHC) said. As the day went on, Irma moved closer and closer to the rest of the state - with the Tampa Bay area and other parts of Florida's western Gulf Coast likely to be hit particularly hard as it goes north.

While only preliminary estimates are in of the extent of Irma's devastation, officials told the New York Times that 80 to 90 percent of the buildings were destroyed on Antigua, Babuda, Anguilla, St. Martin and St. Barthelemy.

On Barbuda, the smaller of the two islands that make up the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, almost every structure sustained severe damage, and all 1,700 residents had been evacuated to Antigua in anticipation of Hurricane Jose.

The eye of the storm passed over Big Pine Key, Summerland Key and Cudjoe Key, Florida, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Here are some fast facts on the most powerful storm to hit Florida in decades.

A Florida sheriff cautioned residents not to shoot bullets at Irma, after a viral Facebook page urged people to take aim at the Category 4 storm.

Petersburg and Tampa have not taken a direct hit from a hurricane in nearly 100 years, according to the Associated Press.

Amid urgent warnings from state officials to evacuate before it was too late, downtown Miami was all but abandoned. "That's a path you don't want to be in".

Photo: Joe Raedle/GETTY Debris blown around by high winds is seen in the street as hurricane Irma arrives on September 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida. Subsequent runs have shifted further west, primarily because it stayed south and it clung onto the Cuban islands for longer. "The entire embassy since this morning has been working on that", he said.

Private and public cameras around the state are documenting the damage, in real time.

Irma was downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane at about 11 a.m. EDT (1500 GMT) on Saturday.

Irma is forecast to dump up to 50cm of rain over Florida and southeast Georgia through to Monday.

After tracking west over the last 24 hours, Irma stalled a bit near the Cuban coast Saturday.

Irma's breadth was massive, with hurricane-force winds extending about 80 miles from its center, and tropical-storm-force winds extending about 220 miles.

Flamingos are being herded to safety at Busch Gardens in Florida.

Miami and Florida State won't meet in Week 3.