Hurricane Irma is fast approaching Florida as people are trying to evacuate to safer places. While originally the evacuation order was given for just 650000 residents of Miami and surrounding areas, reports suggest that several million people have left their homes unguarded and trying to escape destruction that everyone seems to agree that the Hurricane Irma will bring.
Florida is one just the third most populated state in the US, it is also one of the most densely populated states in the country. Many people have fled their homes due to precautionary measures.
With Hurricane Harvey hitting Houston merely a fortnight ago, the people in Florida don’t want to take chances. They have seen the destruction wrought on Houston and other surrounding cities and towns in Texas, they don’t want to take chances.
Hurricane Irma too has already shown its true colors in the Caribbean, killing dozens of people and flattening many cities and towns, it has shown to people in Florida as to what complacency can cause.
Florida has a very long coastline and this is what seems to be unnerving the residents. A peninsula between the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Straits of Florida, it has the longest coastline in the contiguous United States, approximately 1,350 miles (2,170 km), and is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. Much of the state is at or near sea level and is characterized by sedimentary soil.
Category 5 storm
A fact that seems to be high on people’s mind in Florida is the intensity of the Hurricane Irma. Irma made landfall as a Category 5 storm in Camaguey Archipelago on Cuba’s north-central Atlantic coast packing 260km/h winds late on Friday, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said. Category 5 is the NHC’s most powerful designation. According to weathermen, it is one of the fiercest Atlantic storms in a century.
Coming on Sunday
The deadly Hurricane Irma is set to make landfall in Florida on Sunday morning, bringing massive damage from wind and flooding to the fourth-largest state by population. The scenes along Cuba’s coast were gradually coming to resemble horrors of other Caribbean islands over the last week as Irma barreled in for a direct hit at Ciego de Avila province around midnight.
Category 5 storms are rare in US
While we have heard much about the intensity of storms and hurricanes, you should know that the United States has been hit by only three Category 5 storms since 1851, and Irma is far larger than the last one in 1992, Hurricane Andrew, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Governor Rick Scott while talking to media persons tried to make it clear in the minds of scribes and common people that they shouldn’t take it lightly. “We are running out of time. If you are in an evacuation zone, you need to go now. This is a catastrophic storm like our state has never seen” he said.
Quarter of Florida population has evacuated
According to 2016 estimates, the state has a population of more than 20 million, the 3rd most populous state in the country. A total of 5.6 million people, or 25 percent of the state’s population, were ordered to evacuate Florida, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
In the meantime reports suggest that the outer bands of Hurricane Irma began to lash the Florida Keys and whip up strong surf in Miami on Saturday, as the storm already cut power to nearly 25,000 people, said Florida Gov. Rick Scott. He warned those in evacuation areas throughout the state must leave “right this minute.”
Gov. Rick Scott said, “The storm is here. Hurricane Irma is now impacting our state…If you’ve been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now … not tonight, not in an hour, you need to go right now.” Scott cautioned that the deadly storm, which weakened slightly Saturday morning to a Category 3 with 125-mph winds, would cause “life-threatening” surges as high as 12 feet. It was about 175 miles southeast of Key West, according to an 11 a.m. ET National Hurricane Center bulletin.