(Anti Media) Residents of South Florida woke up Sunday morning to Hurricane Irma making landfall at 9:10 a.m. in the Florida Keys as a monster Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
The monster storm made a second landfall later at 3:35 p.m. near Marco Island as it continued traveling north along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Irma to continue overnight into Monday before finally losing hurricane strength status.
By Sunday afternoon Irma had been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, but the NHC was still warning of an “imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida west coast.” More than 6.3 million people evacuated from their homes after the Florida governor orderedthose in Irma’s projected path to seek safe shelter away from the storm. Curfews for 6:00 p.m. have been declared by local officials in the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.
As Florida residents continue to brace for life-threatening storm surges of up to 15 feet, here are 11 surreal scenes from Miami that reminded us of a real-life disaster movie:
“Today is going to the be the long day,” said Mark DeMaria, deputy acting director of Miami’s National Hurricane Center.
“A very dangerous day is unfolding in the Florida Keys and much of West Florida,” Michael Brennan, a senior hurricane specialist at the NHC said Sunday morning. “It certainly could inundate the entire island. That’s why everyone in the Keys was urged so strongly to evacuate.”
Irma is not your ordinary major hurricane. Consider these stats from CNN’s meteorology team:
- Irma is the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea.
- It spent three days as a Category 5 hurricane, the longest Category 5 hurricane since satellite storm-tracking began.
- No storm on record has maintained winds 185 mph or above for as long as Irma (total of 37 hours).
- It prompted the largest evacuation in the history of the Bahamas — and potentially the largest in the US.