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16 million people without power and 142-mph winds: Hurricane Irma, by the numbers

Irma over the Southeast on Monday. (NOAA)
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One-time monster Hurricane Irma has weakened to just a remnant circulation over Alabama but has left behind a plethora of astonishing weather records and statistics.

Below, find some of the most stunning numbers that help quantify the magnitude of this storm and its impact, from the eastern Atlantic Ocean to Florida to Georgia and South Carolina.

16 million: The number of people potentially without power in the Southeast, the most of any hurricane on record. The 15 million people in Florida represent three-quarters of its population. Totals by state:

Note that the number increases to 17 million if you include the million who lost power in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

142 mph: The peak wind gust in Naples, Fla. Other top gusts in the United States:

  • Buck Island, U.S. Virgin Islands: 137 mph
  • Marco Island: 130 mph
  • Big Pine Key: 120 mph
  • Miami International Airport: 99 mph
  • Key West: 94 mph
  • Cape Canaveral: 94 mph
  • Key Largo: 92 mph
  • Culebra, Puerto Rico: 89 mph
  • Fort Myers: 89 mph
  • St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands: 87 mph
  • Jacksonville: 86 mph
  • Fort Lauderdale: 78 mph
  • Clearwater: 77 mph
  • Charleston: 66 mph
  • Atlanta: 64 mph
  • Savannah: 60 mph
  • Gatlinburg, Tenn: 60 mph

159 mph: The peak wind gust recorded outside the United States, in Falla, Cuba. Barbuda, in the northern Lesser Antilles, clocked a gust of 155 mph before its wind sensor failed.

185 mph: Irma’s peak maximum sustained wind as it approached the northern Lesser Antilles. This tied as the second-most-intense Atlantic hurricane with Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Hurricane Gilbert in 1988 and the 1935 Florida Keys hurricane. It trails only Hurricane Allen in 1980, which had winds of 190 mph.

7 to 8 feet: The storm surge on Amelia Island (Fernandina Beach). Other storm surge levels:

  • Jacksonville, Fla. (Mayport Beach): 6 feet (biggest on record)
  • Naples: 5 feet
  • Charleston: 5 feet (third biggest on record)
  • Miami: 4 feet
  • Fort Myers: 4 feet
  • Key West: 3 feet
  • Tampa and St. Petersburg: 2 to 3 feet

16 inches: The highest rainfall total in the United States, reported in Fort Pierce, Fla. Other top totals:

  • Gainesville, Fla.: 12 inches
  • Naples, Fla.: 12 inches
  • Melbourne, Fla.: 11 inches
  • Jacksonville, Fla.: 11 inches
  • Fort Myers, Fla.: 10 inches
  • Fort Lauderdale: 10 inches
  • Orlando: 9 inches
  • Savannah, Ga: 7 inches
  • Charleston, S.C.: 6 inches

37 hours: The number of hours the storm maintained maximum wind speeds of at least 180 mph, longer than any storm on Earth on record, passing Super Typhoon Haiyan, the previous record holder (24 hours).

914 millibars: The pressure the storm dropped to on Sept. 5 (the lower the pressure, the stronger the storm), ranking as the lowest of any storm on record outside the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico in the Atlantic basin. Irma’s landfall pressure of 929 millibars in the Florida Keys was the lowest for any U.S. landfalling hurricane since Katrina (920 millibars) and for a Florida landfall since Andrew (922 millibars). It ranks as the seventh-lowest pressure of any U.S. landfalling storm.

3 days: The length of time the storm remained a Category 5 hurricane, the longest since weather satellites began monitoring weather systems in 1966.

More stories about Irma

Hurricane Irma drained the water from Florida’s largest bays — but it wasn’t gone for long

Irma’s track forecast was adequate, but there’s significant room for improvement

Why Hurricane Irma wasn’t far worse, and how close it came to catastrophe

Credit to tropical-weather expert and occasional Capital Weather Gang contributor Phil Klotzbach for some of the statistics in this post.

Correction: The original version of the post said there were 15 million outages in Florida, whereas the number 15 million signifies the number of people potentially without power not the number of outages. The article also said Irma produced more outages than Sandy, and we cannot yet – with available data – confirm that. This article was updated to reflect this.