What to expect during a Tropical Storm Warning

Danny Woods
September 13, 2017

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], September 12: At least ten people have lost their lives in Cuba after Hurricane Irma passed over the northern portion of the Caribbean island over the weekend.

The Lower Keys could see widespread, "catastrophic" damage, hurricane specialist Mike Brennan said.

Gov. Rick Scott, who spent the days before the storm hit beseeching the islands' residents to evacuate, said Monday that he is flying down to the Keys to survey the damage. "So we're working hard to get our state back to normal but most importantly we've got to save every life, and we've got to make sure people understand it's still risky".

Off Florida's southern tip, authorities were stopping people to check documentation such as proof of residency or business ownership before allowing them back into the Upper Keys.

A large military airborne relief operation was being prepared to take help to the islands, which are linked by a dramatic series of bridges and causeways from Key Largo nearly 160km southwest to the city of Key West, Monroe County Emergency Director Martin Senterfitt said. "You've got to be patient".

Still, the scope of damage in Florida and neighboring states paled in comparison with the utter devastation left by Irma as a rare Category 5 hurricane in parts of the Caribbean, where the storm killed almost 40 people - at least 10 of them in Cuba - before turning its fury on Florida.

More news: Hurricane Irma damages cost 1.2 bln euros in France's Caribbean islands

Bumper-to-bumper traffic was snaking north out of the peninsula, with mattresses, gas cans and kayaks strapped to vehicle roofs.

- Miami streets turned into raging rivers, and the city's airport is closed because of significant water damage.

"It is frightening", he told AFP at a shelter in Miami.

The storm ravaged a series of tiny islands before slamming into the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. It wasn't immediately clear how much damaged was caused. "Boats are sunk in the marina, shops are destroyed".

The made landfall at 3:35 p.m. Sunday on Marco Island, Fla., as a Category 3 hurricane. A few other models put the storm on a more northward track closer to a North Carolina, Virginia or Maryland landfall late next week. Petersburg area had feared a first direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921, but the storm weakened to a Category 2 as it approached.

The city of Jacksonville, in Florida's northeast, was recovering from heavy flooding.

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