This is scary. Both I and a fellow blogger, Horty of the Dr. Rex blog, “It is what it is,” live on opposite coastlines in Central Florida, sometimes called the I-4 corridor. I have not wanted to pay attention to the news reports regarding this biggest storm ever, Miss Irma heading in the direction of the Caribbean Islands, Puerto Rico, maybe Cuba, and then somewhere on the US Atlantic Ocean coastline which includes Florida, but I have no choice.
Florida’s Governor Rick Scott has already declared a state of emergency on Monday (9/4/17). He tweeted that the republican President Donald Trump has offered Florida, “the full resources of the federal government.”
Most of the latest projections have Irma slamming into Florida by Sunday 9/10/17, although it’s unclear where it may make landfall.
There are thoughtful friends who have kindly offered me shelter, just in case, but I am taking a wait and see attitude. I do believe in the power of prayer, which I intend to exercise.
Irma is expected to hit Puerto Rico, today, September 6, 2017.
Here is the rest of the story...
On September 5, 2017, Ivelisse Rivera and Lizette Alvarez of the New York Times penned the following report, “Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 Hurricane, Heads for Puerto Rico.”
“As Hurricane Irma, considered the most powerful Atlantic storm ever recorded, aimed for Puerto Rico and other islands throughout the Caribbean, residents scrambled Tuesday to rush out of flood zones, stock up on the last available water, food and gas, shutter their homes and brace for what is now, and could remain, a mammoth Category 5 hurricane.”
“We have to prepare for an event that we have never experienced here,” said Gov. Ricardo Rosselló of Puerto Rico at a news conference, as he went on to call the hurricane’s arrival imminent and its potential catastrophic.”
“Packing winds of up to 185 miles an hour, Irma threatened havoc and widespread destruction across Puerto Rico, a United States territory of 3.4 million people, the nearby island of Hispaniola (home to the Dominican Republic and Haiti), Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the United States Virgin Islands, among others. Cuba is also threatened. The storm is expected to rake or sideswipe Puerto Rico on Wednesday.”
“President Trump declared a state of emergency in Puerto Rico, Florida and the United States Virgin Islands on Tuesday.”
“Hurricane Irma is the strongest storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean, according to the National Hurricane Center and Bryan Norcross, the hurricane specialist at The Weather Channel. The hurricane center said Irma had winds of up to 185 mph as it approached the Leeward Islands. There have been other storms with comparable winds in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico, where the warm waters fuel particularly dangerous hurricanes.”
“With Harvey’s destruction still fresh on people’s minds, Florida hustled into action. Gov. Rick Scott activated the state National Guard to help with hurricane preparations and suspended tolls. The governor declared a state of emergency on Monday and spoke with President Trump, who offered “the full resources of the federal government,” Mr. Scott wrote on Twitter.”
“Most of the latest projections have Irma slamming into the state by Sunday, although it’s unclear where it may make landfall.”
“The Florida Keys, an especially vulnerable chain of islands, moved quickly to prepare for the crushing wind and its expected tidal inundation. On Wednesday, schools will be closed and mandatory evacuations will begin, county officials said. The Keys’ three hospitals started to evacuate patients on Tuesday.”
“Miami-Dade, the state’s largest county, announced that schools would close Thursday as officials kicked emergency plans into gear.”
“But it is Puerto Rico and the nearby northern Leeward islands that are expected to face Irma’s potentially catastrophic winds first. It has been nearly a century since Puerto Rico was hit by a Category 5 storm, Mr. Norcross said.”
“Puerto Rican officials have warned that the island’s fragile electrical grid could be shut down for days, weeks or even months in some areas. In his news conference, Mr. Rosselló and emergency officials warned that with such powerful winds expected to thrash the island, infrastructure, houses and the phone system will inevitably be damaged.”
“For Puerto Rico, the hurricane could not have come at a worse time. The island is deep in the throes of an economic crisis and does not have money for the long process of rebuilding.”
“This is not going to be easy,” said Héctor Pesquera, the superintendent of public security in Puerto Rico.”
“Abner Gómez Cortés, the head of Puerto Rico’s emergency agency, warned that coastal zones were particular vulnerable — not so much because of rain, as with Harvey — but because of high storm surges of up to 20 feet.”
“On Tuesday 9/5/17), the lines for fast-dwindling gas, food, water and hardware were interminable and anxiety mounted. One hardware store in San Juan had been nearly picked clean by afternoon.”
“This has been like this for the last three days,” said Juan Carlos Ramirez, the store manager. “We’ve sold all of the most necessary items — flashlight, batteries, plywood.”
“People standing in line said one their biggest worries was the expected loss of electricity for long periods. “The infrastructure can’t cope with a hurricane,” Ashley Albelo, a shopper, said.”
“Outside a Sears, Maria Ruiz could not help but remember Hurricanes Hugo and George, which badly damaged Puerto Rico. “Destruction,” she said. “That is what we can expect based on past experiences, and it’s already a Category 5.’’
“Similar frantic scenes played out on other nearby islands. In Antigua, southeast of Puerto Rico, many businesses were closed. Supermarkets were overrun and gas stations were packed.”