The powerful storm finally reached Florida on Sunday, moving up the peninsula’s west coast, where the cities of Naples and Tampa bore the brunt
September 11, 2017 — Florida is today dealing with storm surges and swollen rivers whilst surveying the damage caused by the passage of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the north Atlantic.
After leaving a trail of destruction across the islands of the northern Caribbean, the storm finally reached Florida on Sunday, moving up the peninsula’s west coast, where the cities of Naples and Tampa bore the brunt.
Irma maintained category 5 winds (over 157mph) longer than any other recorded Atlantic hurricane.
Florida’s most immediate threat is the possibility of storm surges
In addition to heavy rains, the winds drove tides and river waters before them, prompting storm surge warnings across large parts of the state. In some places these storm surges were expected to be more than 9 feet (2.7m) high.
Irma grew to 500 miles wide before making landfall
Satellite imagery from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) showed the gigantic whirl of clouds set in motion by Irma.