The latest

• The Tampa Bay Area felt Irma’s worst impacts overnight. As the storm moved north, winds shifted to come from the west, bringing a dangerous and storm surge with it.

• Hurricane-force winds extended up to 80 miles from its center, the NHC said. The size of the storm was such that the entire state of Florida endured its effects.

• On Sunday, the center of the storm made its first Florida landfall at Cudjoe Key, just east of Key West, at 9:10 a.m. The storm was crawling to the north-northwest at just eight mph at the time, but the winds were blowing at close to 130 mph.

• The eye of Hurricane Irma made its second landfall in Florida on Sunday at 3:35 p.m., in Marco Island, south of Naples. Just prior to landfall, the Marco Island Police Department reported a 130-mph wind gust in the eyewall of the hurricane. The city of Naples experienced a 142-mph gust.

• A combination of high tide and onshore wind pushed a storm surge into the low-lying city of Miami on Sunday. Winds are gusting to 90 mph at Miami International Airport.

More than 3 million customers were without power in Florida. Power outages were expected to exceed 2 million across the southeast part of the country as Irma moved north.

• More than 5 million people across Florida were ordered to evacuate and thousands are crammed into shelters.

Q&A

Everything you need to know about Hurricane Irma

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Irma is moving into the Southeast U.S., bringing torrential rain with it.

The storm made its first Florida landfall in the Keys on Sunday morning. On Sunday afternoon, the eye of the storm came ashore in Marco Island, Fla., around 3:35 p.m.

Storm surge

Irma’s storm surge will be catastrophic in some places.

“Storm surge flooding of 10-15 ft is now expected along the SW Florida coast,” the National Hurricane Center tweeted Saturday. “This is a dire and life-threatening situation.”

More than half of all hurricane deaths are caused by storm surge.

Storm surge forecast:

• Cape Sable to Captiva — 10 to 15 feet

• Captiva to Ana Maria Island — 6 to 10 feet

• Card Sound Bridge through Cape Sable, including the Florida Keys — 5 to 10 feet

• Ana Maria Island to Clearwater Beach, including Tampa Bay — 5 to 8 feet

• North Miami Beach to Card Sound Bridge, including Biscayne Bay — 4 to 6 feet

• South Santee River to Fernandina Beach — 4 to 6 feet

• Clearwater Beach to Ochlockonee River — 4 to 6 feet

• Fernandina Beach to North Miami Beach — 2 to 4 feet

Damaging wind

Destructive, sustained winds of 60+ mph are expected to begin on the Florida peninsula Sunday morning and will spread northward through Monday. Power outages are likely, even away from the coast.

Sustained winds of 100+ mph are likely near the coast. The Naples area may well be hit the by the strongest winds — 115 to 135 mph with higher gusts — which would arrive Sunday morning.

It cannot be understated how dangerous these winds will be.

Inland flooding

Rainfall will be torrential in some locations, although it’s impossible to know exactly where the heaviest rain will occur. All inland locations that receive rain from Hurricane Irma or its remnants should be prepared for flash flooding.

As the storm moves north, it will take the flood threat with it. Georgia, South Carolina and western North Carolina should all be prepared for torrential rain and dangerous flash flooding, especially in mountainous areas, early next week.

• The Florida Keys — 10 to 20 inches, isolated 25 inches

• The Florida peninsula and southeast Georgia — 8 to 15 inches, isolated 20 inches

• The eastern Florida Panhandle and southern South Carolina — 4 to 8 inches, isolated 10 inches

• Rest of eastern Georgia, western South Carolina and western North Carolina — 4 to 8 inches

• Western Georgia, eastern and northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee — 2 to 5 inches

Tornadoes

Tornadoes are possible in South Florida on Saturday night. The risk spreads north on Sunday. A tornado watch was in effect for South Florida until 12 a.m. Sunday.

If your local authorities have issued a mandatory evacuation, do not hesitate to leave. The sooner you leave, the safer you will be. It might even be wise to leave before the order, if you can sense it coming.

Pack up the essentials, but don’t spend more than a couple of hours deciding what to take.

Move as far inland and as far north as you can. Hotels will be crowded, so plan to make many calls for availability. Even better — stay with friends or relatives if you can.

You can go to a shelter as a last resort; they will be crowded and uncomfortable and should be used only by people who have nowhere else to go. You will probably not be able to bring your pets. You should take your emergency kit with you to the shelter. Don’t assume the shelter will be able to provide anything more than a safe place to sleep.

Mandatory evacuation zones as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 8. Evacuation routes are shown in white.

Some zones are in effect beginning on Saturday.

Savannah

GEORGIA

341

341

75

Atlantic

Ocean

10

Tallahassee

10

95

FLORIDA

Gulf of

Mexico

75

Orlando

Tampa

95

100 MILES

27

Fort Myers

Miami

41

1

Key West

Mandatory evacuation zones as of 1:30 p.m.

on Friday, Sept. 8. Evacuation routes are shown

in white. Some zones are in effect beginning

on Saturday.

GEORGIA

Savannah

341

341

Atlantic

Ocean

75

10

Tallahassee

Pensacola

10

Gainesville

95

Palm Coast

75

4

Orlando

75

Gulf of Mexico

4

Tampa

St. Petersburg

95

FLORIDA

Lake

Okeechobee

Fort Myers

27

75

Miami

41

100 MILES

1

Key West

Mandatory evacuation zones as of 1:30 p.m. on Friday,

Sept. 8. Evacuation routes are shown in white.

Atlantic

Ocean

Savannah

GEORGIA

341

75

10

Tallahassee

Jacksonville

Pensacola

10

95

Flagler County order in effect beginning on Saturday.

Gainesville

Palm Coast

75

Brevard County order in effect beginning on Friday.

FLORIDA

Gulf of Mexico

4

Orlando

75

100 MILES

4

Martin County order in effect beginning on Saturday.

Tampa

Tampa and St. Petersburg are both within evacuation zones.

St. Petersburg

95

27

Lake

Okeechobee

Gov. Rick Scott ordered a mandatory evacuation of cities surrounding the southern half of Lake Okeechobee beginning Friday morning.

West Palm

Beach

Fort Myers

27

75

Miami

41

Monroe County, which includes the Florida Keys, issued a mandatory evacuation for all visitors and residents. There will be no shelters open in the county.

1

Key West

Landfall is the moment the center of the storm passes over a coast. Even without landfall, major impacts will be felt all along the path.

The storm made its first landfall in Florida on Sunday morning on Cudjoe Key. If the storm makes a second landfall, it will be later in the day on Sunday. This could happen anywhere from Naples to the Florida Panhandle. Everyone along the Florida Gulf Coast should be prepared.

Here’s when storm conditions will begin

North Florida Sunday morning

Georgia Sunday evening

South Carolina Sunday evening

North Carolina Monday morning

The last “major” hurricane — registering as a Category 3 storm or stronger — to make landfall in Florida was Hurricane Wilma in October 2005. Wilma was also the last major hurricane to make landfall anywhere in the United States until Harvey struck Texas late last month.

The Tampa Bay area hasn’t had a direct hit from a hurricane since 1921, but this part of the state is extremely vulnerable to flooding.

Saffir-Simpson scale

Wind speed

Category

1

74-95

2

96-110

3

111-129

4

130-156

5

> than 157 mph

Dennis

Gulf of

Mexico

Florida hurricane history

1992-2016

Andrew

Atlantic

Ocean

Source: NOAA

Atlantic

Ocean

Gulf of Mexico

Florida hurricane history

1992-2016

Saffir-Simpson scale

Tropical storm: 39-73 mph

Category 1: 74-95 mph

Category 2: 96-110

Category 3: 111-129

ANDREW

Category 4: 130-156

Category 5: more than 157 mph

Source: NOAA

Atlantic

Ocean

Pensacola

Tallahassee

Jacksonville

Gainesville

Gulf of Mexico

Orlando

Tampa

Florida hurricane history

1992-2016

Saffir-Simpson scale

Tropical storm: 39-73 miles per hour (mph)

Category 1: 74-95 mph

Category 2: 96-110

Fort

Myers

Category 3: 111-129

Category 4: 130-156

Miami

ANDREW

1992

Category 5: more than 157 mph

Source: NOAA

Key West

Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key, Fla., just east of Key West, at 9:10 a.m. At the time, the storm was crawling to the north-northwest at just 8 mph. It was lashing the Florida Keys with sustained winds over 100 mph and a dangerous storm surge.

Irma has a nearly week-long history in the Caribbean. The storm ravaged the islands of Barbuda and Antigua as well as St. Martin on Tuesday.

Apocalyptic scenes of flattened buildings and ruined airports emerged from the once-lush islands — even as another potent storm, Hurricane Jose, followed fast in Irma’s wake.

About 95 percent of the tiny islands of Barbuda and St. Martin sustained some damage or were outright destroyed, officials and local residents said. Ghastly photos and videos from St. Martin and St. Barthelemy, also known as St. Barts, showed buildings in ruin and cars and trucks almost submerged in the storm surge.

“Everything is a disaster, total devastation,” Dieter Schaede said by telephone from St. Martin, where he lives. “Roofs down, houses totally flown away, wiped out.”

On Wednesday, the storm battered Puerto Rico as the eye tracked to the north of San Juan. Intense wind gusts were reported, including 111 mph on Culebra Island and 131 mph on Buck Island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than a million people were left without power in Puerto Rico, and communication channels were sparse.

On Thursday, Irma moved on to the island of Hispaniola, which includes the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Gen. Rafael A. Carrasco, said that at least 2,721 homes have been damaged in the Dominican Republic. The government said nearly 7,000 people had been evacuated from their homes, and 7,400 tourists had been moved from beachside hotels.

The Haiti Civil Protection Agency reported “moderate flooding” in four northern provinces and said a bridge linking Haiti to the Dominican Republic had collapsed in the border city of Ouanaminthe.

Less than a week after Hurricane Harvey dissipated over Texas, another major hurricane threatens the U.S. coast. It is very rare to have back-to-back major hurricanes make landfall on the U.S. mainland.

 According to the National Hurricane Center, it’s only happened twice before that we know of:

1893 The Charleston Hurricane (Category 3) and Cheniere Caminada Hurricane (Category 4)

2004 Hurricane Ivan made landfall on the Gulf Coast as a Category 3; then Hurricane Jeanne made landfall as a Category 3 on Hutchinson Island, Fla., north of Miami.

The storm’s energy, expressed in terajoules, is calculated based on its wind speed and its size.

30 mph

One-minute

sustained winds

110 mph

Hurricane-force

wind contour

MEXICO

NORTH

U.S.

2017

Texas

Harvey

28 terajoules

Gulf of Mexico

MEX.

2005

Katrina

116 terajoules

Carribean

Sea

1992

Andrew

Florida

15 terajoules

BAHAMAS

CUBA

Atlantic

Ocean

2017

Irma

112 terajoules

DOM.

REP.

300 MILES

Source: RMS HWind

The storm’s energy, expressed in terajoules, is calculated based on its wind speed and its size.

30 mph

Hurricane-force

wind contour

One-minute

sustained winds

110 mph

Atlantic Ocean

2017

2005

1992

2017

Harvey

Katrina

Andrew

Irma

116 terajoules

28 terajoules

15 terajoules

112 terajoules

Carribean

Sea

300 MILES

Source: RMS HWind

The storm’s energy, expressed in terajoules, is calculated based on its wind speed and its size.

30 mph

Hurricane-force

wind field

One-minute

sustained winds

110 mph

Atlantic Ocean

2017

2005

1992

2017

Harvey

Katrina

Andrew

Irma

116 terajoules

28 terajoules

15 terajoules

112 terajoules

Gulf of Mexico

300 MILES

Caribbean Sea

Source: RMS HWind

Stories worth reading

After a long, restless night, residents of Nuevitas, Cuba, ventured out of their homes Saturday morning to inspect damage. “It’s a total disaster,” said Dianelys Alvarez, who told The Post there was not a single tree still standing. “The streets are full of rubble. There are houses with their roofs ripped off. Even the oldest trees in town have been knocked down,” she said. (The Post’s Nick Miroff)

The Washington Post’s Marc Fisher and Perry Stein offer a thought-provoking story on the paralyzing fear and anxiety in the world right now — from a nuclear North Korea to a deadly earthquake in Mexico and a catastrophic hurricane season. “Fear is in the water these days, spread with a new and viral efficiency on social media, into everyone’s homes and everyone’s pockets at all hours, every day.”

Hurricane Irma is changing the shape of the ocean. As winds blow into the storm, it’s pushing ocean water along with it. It’s drawing water away from the shorelines in the Bahamas. This video is pretty incredible. (The Post’s Angela Fritz)

Technology is making it easier to stay in touch with loved ones during natural disasters. Zello, a walkie-talkie app, climbed to No. 1 in app stores after Harvey. Now, a communication device that is used by military operators is also gaining traction: goTenna Mesh. (The Post’s Peter Holley)

Sir Richard Branson literally owns an island that just got crushed by Hurricane Irma. The billionaire founder of the Virgin Group rode out the storm in a fortified wine cellar. (The Post’s Amy B. Wang and Alex Horton)

Hurricane Irma had max wind speeds of at least 180 mph for 37 hours, which is a new record for anywhere on Earth. Super Typhoon Haiyan (Yolanda) — which devastated the Philippines and killed more than 6,000 people in 2013 — was the previous record-holder at 24 hours. (Capital Weather Gang)

Amid fears of price gouging, JetBlue offered $99 seats on flights from South Florida. One woman’s search for a flight out of Florida yielded a $3,200-dollar one-way fare on Expedia. Delta helped her find a cheaper flight, but Expedia can’t explain why it was selling such expensive tickets. (The Post’s Luz Lazo and Lori Aratani)

On top of all the destruction in the Atlantic, the west coast of Mexico experienced an 8.1-magnitude earthquake on Friday morning. President Enrique Peña Nieto called it the biggest quake in 100 years. Dozens of people are dead and more are injured. Reports continue to flow in. (The Post’s Joshua Partlow)

Follow the Capital Weather Gang on Twitter and Facebook, and stay up to date with Hurricane Irma forecasts.

Jason Samenow, Brian McNoldy and Greg Porter contributed to this report from Washington, D.C. Graphics by Laris Karklis, Gabriel Florit and Denise Lu.

About this story

Originally published Sept. 6, 2017.

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