Hurricane Irma made its second landfall in Florida Sunday, and began assaulting Florida’s west coast, putting Tampa Bay directly in the path of the largest Atlantic hurricane in history. Florida Power and Light reports that more than three million Florida residents are without power and that number is expected to rise.
An hour after making landfall the monster storm had weakened from a category 3 to a category 2 storm with winds at 110 MPH. The National Hurricane Center says that the storm’s “interaction with the Florida Peninsula along with strong southwesterly shear should cause significant weakening.” However they maintained that Irma would remain at hurricane status until Monday morning at the earliest.
Still in the early stages of traversing Florida’s west coast, Hurricane Irma has already cut power to over 3 million people, according to The Miami Herald. As the storm continues to track northwards that number will rise, but FPL CEO and president Eric Silagy is hopeful. Silagy says that due to technological advancements and automation in FPL’s power grid power should be restored relatively quickly.
Florida governor Rick Scott warned that the most deadly part of the storm would likely be the storm surge rather than wind or power outages over the coming days. Hurricane Harvey’s destruction of the Houston, Texas area in August was largely due to the immense volume of rain and flooding.
Though Florida is well prepared there can be no true knowledge of the damage and cost until after the storm has passed. Videos showing the effects of Hurricane Irma in Miami have been tweeted by news outlets.
Another video shows Irma’s terrifying winds ripping a roof clean off a building in Miami and tossing it.
A tornado warning has been issued for multiple counties in Florida, a terrifying proposition that could add a second layer of destruction to what has already been a terrible storm. A video take in Miami shows what looks like a funnel cloud being formed.
Hurricane Irma brought devastation to the caribbean islands that took the brunt of her winds.
The storm is expected to continue into Monday at the least before losing hurricane status and continuing on through the southeast United States. A second hurricane, Jose, is on Irma’s heels but whether or not it will affect the U.S. in a significant way is still unknown.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]