State of emergency has been declared on almost every island in the Caribbean as the Hurricane Irma fluctuates away from Barbuda. The devastating storm is now heading towards St. Martin and locals are rushing to stores to stock up on supplies which will be gravely needed in the days to come.
The eye of the hurricane went over Barbuda earlier on Wednesday rummaging everything on its way as it continued its path on the Caribbean coast.
Hurricane’s eye was more massive than Barbuda according to experts. It brought tremendously fast winds with it, to be precise, it carried winds of 185 mph which qualifies this storm as one of the most powerful Atlantic has ever seen.
Authorities claim that the Category 5 hurricane could be ‘potentially catastrophic’ if it hits islands at high tides.
MOST RECENT NEWS
Hurricane Irma arrived at islands near its expected route earlier on Monday. Islands that are afflicted include Anguilla, St. Martin, St. Kitts and Nevis and the British and US Virgin Islands.
The center of the storm should pass near or north of the island of Puerto Rico later this afternoon.
After it reaches Puerto Rico, the storm should turn downwards and head to the Caicos and Turks islands and the southeastern Bahamas. There are predictions of storm surges that could reach up to 20 feet.
Experts still don’t know for sure whether the storm will cause landfall on the US mainland however the forecast indicates that it will turn towards Florida over the weekend.
Fortunately, authorities in Florida have warned residents promptly, and evacuations are also underway. A great number of schools have been shut down, and shelters are up and running.
Governor Kenneth E. Mapp of the US Virgin Islands ordered a 36-hour curfew that started at 6 a.m. local time on Wednesday.
When it comes to the Bahamas, emergency evacuations have been ordered in six southern islands. Those include Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay, Mayaguana, Inagua and Ragged Island.
Prime Minister Huber Minnis stated ‘This is the largest such evacuation in the history of the country.’
Bahamian authorities canceled vacation time for police and defensive forces.
And just as if all of this wasn’t enough, Tropical Storm Jose that is in the open Atlantic is expected to become a hurricane by Wednesday night.
The National Hurricane Center issued a statement. ‘Interests in the Leeward Islands should monitor the progress of Jose.’
Experts issued a statement where they warn about islands that could be potentially hit by a hurricane. They are mostly concerned about the northeastern Caribbean, as per Michael Brennan.
Experts are speculating that following islands will be hit by a hurricane: Anguilla, Antigua, Barbuda, Puerto Rico, the US and British Virgin Islands, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Martin/St. Maarten, St. Barts, the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with Haiti, Guadeloupe, the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands.
It is expected that ‘the extremely dangerous core’ of Irma was supposed to move over some areas north of Leeward Islands on Wednesday morning, it should also go over parts of the northern Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico.
PUERTO RICO SITUATION
Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency earlier this week, and he also activated the National Guard.
Crowds of people rushed to stores to stock up on supplies ahead of Irma’s arrival. Plywood, batteries and power generators are items that are demanded the most. Puerto Ricans fear that it could take them months to repair damages should the power be knocked out.
Authorities of Puerto Rico claim that island’s power utility looks ‘vulnerable and fragile’ so there is no surprise that people are worried.
Another major issue is that employees of power utility in Puerto Rico seek job opportunities on the US mainland, so Puerto Ricans also lack manpower.
EVACUATIONS IN FLORIDA
We’ve stumbled upon a local in Florida who packed his family in their RV and now looks to leave Astatula, Florida with the hope of going to Georgia. He shared a picture of a long line of cars as he headed out of town to get gas.
‘People are genuinely scared down here,’ he stated. ‘… We are dead center in the state, but I’m not taking any chances. I also don’t want to put my family through the misery of riding out the storm. We’ve done it before, and it’s horrible.’
Another local from Eustis, northwest of Orlando shared a comment about this situation.
‘My husband and I prepared for Irma by getting some cash out, fueling cars and filling gas cans with nonethanol gas (for use with our chainsaw if needed), … and making sure we have enough batteries, canned food, etc.’
All the way from Miami Beach to Ocala the locals prepared for the storm and some of them posted images of empty shelves at local grocery stores.
When it comes to special-needs residents of Dade County, Miami their evacuation will start on Wednesday or even sooner according to Mayor Carlos Gimenez.
County offices and schools will be closed on Thursday and Friday.
In Monroe County residents were advised to evacuate by sunrise on Wednesday.
President Trump also offered ‘the full resources of the federal government’ according to Florida Governor Rick Scott.
Governor of Florida also ordered 7,000 National Guard troops to report for duty by Friday morning.
‘Learn your evacuation zone. Listen to your locals.’ he said. ‘This storm has the potential to devastate this state. You have to take this seriously.’