As the city of Houston continues to rebuild following the devastating impact of Hurricane Harvey, another potentially dangerous hurricane is set to hit Florida and Puerto Rico. Hurricane Irma has been strengthened to a Category 4 and residents are doing all they can to avoid disaster.
While most were celebrating the Labor Day holiday, Hurricane Irma upgraded in strength to a Category 4 and now an official state of emergency has been declared for the state of Florida by Gov. Rick Scott. In addition, the island of Puerto Rico is also in the path of the hurricane, which could cripple the local government financially. The New York Daily News has further details about this latest weather system including potential evacuation plans.
Via New York Daily News:
Hurricane Irma [has] winds of 130 mph [and] is approaching the northeast Caribbean. Meteorologists believe it could cause up to 10 inches of rain and generate 23-foot waves.
The cash-strapped Puerto Rican government declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard, but where Irma might make landfall remains a mystery. A hurricane warning has been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and St. Barts.
Ahead of the storm’s impact, American Airlines nixed flights out of St. Kitts, Nevis and St. Maarten slated for Tuesday and Wednesday. A hurricane watch is in effect for Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and Guadeloupe. U.S. residents were urged to monitor the storm’s progress in case it turns north toward Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas.
Addressing the financial concerns the hurricane could have on Puerto Rico, Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a statement “Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has $15 million for the emergency fund.”
Meanwhile, the COO of AccuWeather offered a detailed analysis of what to expect from Hurricane Irma saying, “This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast. It also has the potential to significantly strain FEMA and other governmental resources occurring so quickly on the heels of Harvey.”
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