Hurricane Irma makes second official landfall; gusts up to 142 miles per hour

Gwen Vasquez
September 13, 2017

Forecasters said the greater Miami area of six million people could still get life-threatening hurricane winds and storm surge of 4m.

Hurricane Irma bore down on southern Florida on Sunday with 130 mile-per-hour (210 kph) winds, flooding Miami streets and knocking out power to more than 1.6 million homes and businesses.

This story was first published on CNN.com, "Irma regains strength to Category 4 as Florida awaits the worst".

The National Hurricane Center says Category 4 Hurricane Irma is now "headed for the southwest Florida coast" as winds continue to pick up speed in all of South Florida. "Sustained category 1 hurricane-force winds are possible near the coast northward to around Edisto Beach".

Downgraded from a hurricane to a tropical storm, Irma left several northern Florida cities flooded and continued to batter them with heavy rain and high storm surges on Monday. A storm surge warning is in place for all of South Florida.

"Irma is a large hurricane and will produce far-reaching effects regardless of where the exact center of the storm moves".

Meanwhile, residents in the Caribbean have begun the slow and painful process of rebuilding their lives after Irma devastated the region last week, leaving at least 28 people dead and nearly completely destroying some islands.

Almost seven million people in the southeast were warned to get out of harm's way, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

But Key West business owner Jason Jonas said he stayed behind because he's in a home that is "built like a bunker".

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Irma was "seriously" damaging the center of the island with winds up to 256 kilometers (159 miles) per hour, Cuban state media said.

Local radio issued constant messages warning people not to leave their homes while the hurricane passed.

The city of Miami imposed a curfew until 7am on Sunday and already more than 430,000 customers in Florida were without power on Sunday morning, Florida Power & Light Company reported.

As Hurricane Irma makes landfall on the western part of Florida, with winds reaching 130mph, you would think taking a selfie would be the last thing on your mind. "We're going to teach mom how to use it. Mom's able to give her kids clean drinking water and those kids aren't going to get sick".

Hurricane Irma is already one for the record books.

GlobalMedic, a Canadian disaster relief charity, was also preparing to send aid items to the island and others struck by the brunt of the storm - St. Maarten and St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Barts and Turks and Caicos.

"We're getting slammed right now", Josh Levy, the mayor of Hollywood, Florida, said on Sunday afternoon.

The storm battered Cuba Sept. 9 after leaving a path of destruction in the Caribbean.

As Irma travelled through the centre of the state, it brought wind gusts of up to 160km/h and torrential rain to areas around Orlando, the National Weather Service said. Tiny shifts in its track appear to have steered the worst of Irma away from Miami-Dade and towards Tampa. "This likely will be one of the most challenging restorations that our country has ever seen".

Other reports by LeisureTravelAid

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