Hurricane Irma is threatening the state of Florida, but it seems that the government is poised to come to the aid of citizens who are affected by the storm.
The storm, which has already ravaged islands to the Southeast of the United States, is set to hit the continental US soon — likely touching down in Florida. On Friday, President Donald Trump issued a warning, stating, “Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen. Be safe and get out of its way, if possible. Federal G is ready!”
On the heels of Hurricane Harvey, Irma is expected to continue to cause fear and damages throughout Saturday as it passes over Cuba, and turns to Florida. According to the National Hurricane Center (NHC), the storm is about 225 miles south of Miami, with winds slowing down to 130 mph. However, they have also stated that they expect the hurricane to gain strength as it approaches the state of Florida.
The eye of the storm is expected to hit the Florida Keys, Tampa, and the southwest of Florida on Sunday — however, the entire state would experience the effects of the hurricane. According to Fox News, Miami is not expected to experience the core of the storm, but they would see life-threatening conditions.
Florida residents have been informed that they have until 12pm ET to evacuate their homes. While many have decided to relocate for the duration of the storm, others have decided to remain and ride it out.
Florida Governor Rick Scott announced on Saturday that they are opening more than 70 shelters for victims of the storm. Additionally, the National Guard is being deployed to assist those who need help — along with 1,000 volunteer nurses who will be prepared to offer medical care at the shelters.
The governor has stated that at least 25,000 people have lost power in their homes. Fortunately, utility companies have crews on standby to assist those who experience power loss.
Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have stated that dozens of staff members were also working to secure some of the country’s most contaminated toxic waste sites before Hurricane Irma made landfall. This will help to ensure that further damage is not caused by the storm.
Irma is not the only hurricane in the region. Hurricane Jose followed Irma in the Caribbean. Jose has been ranked at category 5, which means it threatens to cause more damage to the Caribbean islands that have already experienced Irma. Near Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall just north of Tecolutla.
A tropical storm watch was issued north of Fernandina Beach to Altamaha Sound, Ga., with additional watches and warnings possible later Saturday for portions of the coasts of Georgia and South Carolina, as well as portions of the Florida Gulf Coast. While Irma has been weakened because if its interaction with Cuba, it still remains dangerous.
Hurricanes Irma and Jose are expected to cause major damage to parts of Florida. Those who are remaining in the area have already taken steps to protect themselves from the effects of the storm.
Government agencies are waiting to assist those who are adversely affected by the storm. Hopefully, these will be the last of the hurricanes hitting the country.