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Irma makes landfall in Florida Keys

September 10, 2017
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

After days of westward travel, Hurricane Irma has made the predicted northerly turn.

Hurricane Irma is reported to have made landfall this morning at Cudjoe Key.

The storm's maximum sustained winds at this time are 130 mph, according to The National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Article Photos

Graphic courtesy of NWS/NOAA

The storm is moving north-northwest at 8 mph but the NHC expects it to speed up later on Sunday.

Irma is still rated a category 4 and is expected to remain that strength as it moves up the west coast Sunday and Monday, although it will begin to weaken near Tampa Bay and the Panhandle.

The storm surge warning is still in effect and has increased to potentially 10 to 15 feet above ground from Cape Sable to Captiva and 6 to 10 feet from Captiva to Anna Maria Island.

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

According to the NHC's discussion this morning, Irma is expected to travel parallel to the coast and it is uncertain where along the Gulf Coast it will make its initial continental landfall.

The Lee County Emergency Operations Center is operating shelters for approximately 30,000 people and 1,700 pets as of Sunday morning. The EOC recommended that everyone should now be in their inland safe location away from the coast due to the impending storm surge.

There are still three shelters with space left for last-minute evacuees: Mirror Lakes Elementary, Harns Marsh Elementary and Veterans Park Rec Center.



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