Destruction at Dawn: Hurricane Irma Makes Landfall in Florida Keys, at Least 3 Dead

america
September 10, 2017

Hurricane Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning, bringing winds of 130 miles per hour.

Three people have been confirmed to be dead and over 1.3 million households and businesses are without power. according to ABC. 

The National Hurricane Center upgraded the storm to a category 4 hurricane overnight. Around 7:20 a.m. Eastern time, the Lower Keys were directly in the eye of the storm. The hurricane is expected to move to Florida’s west coast throughout Sunday.

This is a change from earlier predictions that left some residents and officials rushing to find shelter. The new path could expose St. Petersburg rather than Miami or Tampa to be directly hit.

“We don’t have the exact numbers on everyone who stayed in the Keys,” Gov. Rick Scott of Florida said in a television interview on Sunday morning, referring to a mandatory evacuation order that had been in place for several days. “I hope everyone listened.”

A Spanish-language news station, showed a view of the Keys on Sunday, with a newscaster and homes nearly underwater, according to ABC.

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, officials said.

Two law enforcement died in a car crash in the rain in Hardee County, Florida, which is about 60 miles inland from Sarasota, the Florida Highway Patrol said, according to ABC and Miami Harold. 

At 11 a.m., the storm moved away from the Keys to about 80 miles south-southeast of Naples on Florida's west coast. 

The eyewall of Hurricane Irma is now about 5 miles from Marco Island. It is 19 miles from downtown Naples. A large storm surge is imminent. 

A tornado was reported on the ground near Fort Lauderdale airport and Interstate 595, the National Weather Service said. 

In related news, newlyweds were stuck in a hotel bathroom during Hurricane Irma.