Three Confirmed Dead As Eye Of Hurricane Irma Hits Florida
Hurricane Irma has claimed the lives of three people after hitting Florida with winds of around 130mph.
Initial thoughts were Irma had lessened slightly and was downgraded to a Category 3, but it became stronger again and was upgraded to a Category 4.
A man was killed after the incredibly strong winds made him lose control as he was driving through Monroe County, according to ABC News. Reports say his car contained a generator.
Two others are said to have died in a car accident in Hardee County, Florida.
These deaths are added to the 25 deaths in the Caribbean which occurred when the storm hit the archipelago.
There have been mass power outages in Florida and it’s estimated around 3.5 million people are without any sort of power.
The Lower Keys are currently in the eye of the storm, though emergency services are unable to help many people due to difficulties during the storm.
The National Weather Service has warned those in Miami not to return to the area, even after the winds have slowed, until the roads are declared safe, saying:
Extreme, hurricane-froce winds are imminent in the Lower Florida Keys. If you are here, please go to interior room away from windows.
The National Weather Service continued:
Treat these imminent extreme winds as if a tornado was approaching and move immediately to the safe room in your shelter.
Take action now to protect your life. You should already be taking cover.
Almost 6.3million people have been told to evacuate the area in anticipation of Irma’s destruction.
Experts are expecting a storm surge of up to 15ft in Key West.
A storm surge is a rising wall of water which can come from any source, not just from the coast, and it’s thought these surges are often more deadly than the winds themselves.
The hurricane is expected to head north along the coastline before heading up into Georgia over the coming days.