Published: Thu, September 07, 2017
Medicine | By Earnest Bishop

Hurricane Irma makes first landfall; Tropical Storm Jose forms

Hurricane Irma makes first landfall; Tropical Storm Jose forms

Most forecast models now have the entire state of Florida feeling the impact of the hurricane.

He said there were no deaths in Antigua and preliminary reports indicated there were no deaths in Barbuda despite widespread reports of damaged buildings and downed trees.

While that may be some good news to Eastern N.C., we'll continue to trek the storm as its uncertainty makes it still too unpredictable to project with 100 percent certainty.

"Be ready for all the hazards associated with this storm (storm surge, high winds and heavy rain)". It was heading west-northwest at 16 miles per hour (26 km/h). In Barbuda, phone lines went down and howling winds sent debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters.

Irma is ripping its way through the Caribbean while another storm forms behind it.

. Cotton prices also climbed on potential crop damage, while natural gas slid on speculation the storm will wipe out demand for the power-plant fuel. Midcie Francis of the National Office of Disaster Services confirmed there was damage to several homes, but said it was too early to assess the extent of damage.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Heavy rain and 185-mph winds lashed the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico's northeast coast Wednesday as Hurricane Irma roared through Caribbean islands on its way to a possible hit on South Florida.

Its forecast late Tuesday was for the winds to fluctuate slightly but for the storm to remain at Category 4 or 5 strength for the next day or two.

Irma blacked out much of Puerto Rico, raking the USA territory with heavy wind and rain while staying just out to sea, and it headed early Thursday toward the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Irma is the strongest Atlantic hurricane since Rita in 2005, officials said. The 26C water that hurricanes need goes about 250ft deep, said Jeff Masters, meteorology director of the private forecasting service Weather Underground.

The northern Leeward Islands were expected to see waves as high as 11ft, while the Turks and Caicos Islands and south-eastern Bahamas could see towering 20ft waves later in the week, forecasters said.

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Mr Trump also declared an emergency in Florida and authorities in the Bahamas said they would evacuate six southern islands. People there would be flown to Nassau starting Wednesday in what he called the largest storm evacuation in the country's history.

In the US, mandatory evacuations were issued for the Florida Keys and Gov. Rick Scott said he expected additional evacuation orders. However, it could become a hurricane by as early as Thursday and is forecasted to take a more northward turn than what Hurricane Irma is taking. "A lot of infrastructure won't be able to withstand this kind of force". The eye was then expected to pass about 50 miles from Puerto Rico late Wednesday.

The northern parts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti could see 10 inches (25 centimetres) of rain, with as much as 20 inches (50 centimetres) in the southeast Bahamas and Turks and Caicos.

The storm seemed nearly certain to hit the United States by early next week. On Monday, Scott declared a state of emergency in all of Florida's 67 counties.

Puerto Ricans braced for blackouts after the director of the island's power company told reporters that storm damage could leave some areas without electricity for about a week and other, unspecified areas for four to six months. He said evacuations of special-needs residents will begin Wednesday, and others might be ordered to head out of town. He activated the emergency operation centre and urged residents to have three days' worth of food and water.

Hurricane Irma strengthened into a highly unsafe Category 5 storm on Tuesday as it barreled toward the Caribbean and the southern United States, threatening deadly winds, storm surges and flooding as Texas and Louisiana was still reeling from devastating Hurricane Harvey.

The tenth named Atlantic storm, Jose, formed in the Atlantic earlier Tuesday - and the eleventh, Katia, early Wednesday.

Both Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands expected 4 inches to 10 inches (10-25 centimeters) of rain and winds of 40-50 miles per hour with gusts of up to 75 miles per hour.

Irma became the ninth named Atlantic storm of the season Wednesday, following Harvey. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm- force winds, conditions that make outside preparations hard or risky. The storm was centred about 1,255 miles (2,020 kilometres) east of the Lesser Antilles and was moving west near 13 mph (20 kph).

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