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Storm surge warning in effect

September 9, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

After several days of shifting directions, Hurricane Irma is moving over the northern coast of Cuba and expected to near the Florida Keys by Sunday morning and Southwest Florida coast by Sunday afternoon.

Irma has weakened slightly from the contact with Cuba, remaining a category 4 with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. However, the National Hurricane Center predicts the storm will strengthen again after moving away from Cuba.

Hurricane-force winds can extend 70 miles from the center and tropical storm winds extend up to 195 miles.

The exact center of the storm continues to shift. A storm surge warning is in effect for the peninsula to Venice and the Keys. A hurricane warning is in effect from Anna Maria Island south around the peninsula.

Lee County is included in these warnings. The National Hurricane Center predicts that if a peak surge happens at the same time as high tide, Southwest Florida could see 8 to 12 feet of water above ground from Cape Sable to Captiva and 5 to 8 feet from Captiva to Venice.

A storm surge is a situation in which a hurricane can cause a rapid rise in water from the coast inland.

Southern Florida will start seeing hurricane-like conditions, such as wind, by Saturday night or early Sunday. The Keys and much of the peninsula could see 8 to 15 inches of rain.



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