Florida Keys hit by near-hurricane winds from Irma

13 Septembre, 2017, 16:32 | Auteur: Phil Beauvilliers
  • Necker Island Richard Branson’s private island

Storm surges pushed by a high tide were forecast to be as high as 4.6m for low- lying area along the state's west coast on Sunday, which could produce catastrophic flooding for thousands of homes.

Nearly 7 million people from multiple states in the storm's path were told to evacuate their homes, according to The Associated Press.

On Barbuda, the smaller of the two islands that make up the nation of Antigua and Barbuda, almost every structure sustained severe damage, and all 1,700 residents had been evacuated to Antigua in anticipation of Hurricane Jose.

A recent view from NASA's Aqua satellite on Saturday morning revealed cold temperatures in the cloud tops of thunderstorms surrounding Hurricane Irma's core, as well as in a band of thunderstorms over the Florida Keys.

Here are some fast facts on the most powerful storm to hit Florida in decades. Tornadoes are typically the product of single storms and usually form over land, except in the case of some waterspouts.

Media reports previously said up to 24 could be dead as a result of the storm, with French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb saying the storm left at least nine dead on the French side of Saint Martin and St Barthelemy.

The storm made its second landfall - the first was in the Florida Keys - at Marco Island at 3:30 p.m. Sunday.

But Joni Emmanuel didn't leave her house in the evacuation area of Bal Harbour in Miami-Dade County because her boyfriend, who's 92, wanted to stay behind.

Recently planted palm trees lie strewn across the road as Hurricane Irma passes by, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, in Miami Beach, Fla.

"This is a life-threatening situation", the hurricane center posted.

"This is a major storm surge threat, a major wind threat for a large portion of Southwest Florida", National Hurricane Center Deputy Director Mark DeMaria said.

More than a million people lost power in Puerto Rico. "[It will be] the worst single hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992".

Earlier estimates had been for up to 12 feet of storm surge along the coast.

However it is expected to gain strength over warm waters as it heads toward Florida, the NHC said. "When it happens, the storm water rushes in and rushes out". "So it's going to take a while".

He added that the city was putting a 6 p.m curfew in place.

The move means the teams will go three weeks without playing a football game.