Hurricane Irma now stronger than Katrina – where will it hit?
Hurricane Irma is currently a Category 5 storm with potential catastrophic impact for the areas within its path. For comparison, Katrina, one of the most destructive hurricanes in U.S. history, made it to Category 5 over the Gulf of Mexico.
- The monstrous storm Irma is currently moving through U.S. Virgin Islands and into Puerto Rico on Wednesday Sept 06, afternoon or night. The forecasts change hourly but it’s expected that Irma will hit Florida this weekend.
- President Trump has declared a state of emergency for Florida.
- Florida governor Rick Scott has activated the national guard and mandatory evacuation is under way
Hurricane Irma – latest update
Terrifying NASA footage shows the hurricane Harvey about to slam the Texas coast
As you can see, Harvey, who hit the US less than 2 weeks ago was ‘only’ a category 4, whilst we expect Irma to level up to 5.
It’s still too soon to say where Irma will go, but the forecast strongly suggests that Irma is headed toward south Florida this weekend.
The Category 5 label means Irma will maintain winds of at least 157 mph expected to reach even 215 mph. This makes Irma a severe tornado, which can tear off roofs, homes, toss cars, overturn trains, and uproot large trees.
Where and when we expect Irma to hit
The last time the U.S. suffered a Category 5 storm was with Katrina. When Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast and the Bahamas in 2005, it killed 1,800 people, damaged 275,000 homes, cost $100 billion, and flooded 80% of New Orleans. We are still not sure what to expect, experts say, but it’s likely that the storm will be destructive.
How to prepare for hurricane Irma
There is no sure way to know if Irma will hit the coast directly, but in any case the impact will be severe. The biggest danger is flooding, along with the destructive winds. The only way for Florida population to remain safe is evacuation.
Hurricane Irma – Sep 6 video
Here are some steps to take into consideration:
- Map your route, major highways are expected to be crowded
- Fill your gas tank
- Contact your bank to inform them that you are in the area of expected hurricane and will evacuate
- Book your hotel in advance
- Do not forget to take your pets along, it is not certain that they will survive the storm
Most important items to pack:
- Cash preferably to credit / debit cards
- Food and drinkable water
- Cell phones with portable charger or spare batteries
- Pets with food and water for at least a week
- First-aid kit
- Paper maps in case of loss of cell phone coverage or batteries
What if you do not evacuate? What to consider if you stay for the storm
- Remove close-by damaged trees or branches likely to fall
- Board your windows
- Prepare your portable generator if you have one. Do not run portable generators indoors or in the rain and do not plug them into wall outlets
- Prepare enough food and water for your family and pets
- Fill up your gas tank
- Prepare cell phone batteries, external chargers, flashlights and first-aid kit