'Pray For Us', Florida Residents Requests As Hurricane Irma Hits
Hurricane Irma is ravaging parts of Florida in the United States, with a wind speed of 130-mph (210-kph).
It has knocked out electricity to more than 1 million Florida homes and businesses on Sunday and threatened the state’s Gulf Coast with potentially catastrophic flooding.
Reuters reports that the storm, one of the most powerful ever recorded in the Atlantic, passed over the Florida Keys archipelago off the state’s southern tip and was on a course for the state’s western coast, which was expecting storm surges - water driven ashore by the winds - of up to 15 feet (4.6 m).“I am very concerned about the west coast,” Florida Governor Rick Scott told “Fox News on Sunday.” The coastline is home to cities like Tampa and St. Petersburg.
Category 4 hurricane
Hurricane Irma, which prompted one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history, is expected to cause billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous U.S. state, a major tourism hub, with an economy comprising about 5% of U.S. gross domestic product.
About 1.1 million Florida homes and businesses had lost power by mid-morning as the storm battered the southern part of the state, utility Florida Power & Light said.
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Irma is currently a Category 4 hurricane that has now passed over the lower Florida Keys and is headed toward the mainland, the NHC said in its latest update.
Irma, which killed at least 22 people as it tore through Caribbean islands toward Florida, has already claimed at least one life in the state.
Emergency responders in the Florida Keys said they pulled a man’s body from his pickup truck, which had crashed into a tree in high winds.