Hurricane Irma is pummeling Florida with powerful winds and rain after making landfall in the Florida Keys this morning. The storm has left at least three people in the state dead, including a sheriff’s deputy, and over 1 million households and businesses without power.
In Miami, winds whipped around high-rise buildings at speeds approaching 100 mph, the National Weather Service said. A 94 mph wind gust was recorded at Miami International Airport. The winds caused a tower crane to collapse on an under-construction high-rise in Miami this morning, city officials said.
The Miami-Dade Police tweeted that its officers are sheltered for their safety and cannot respond to calls for service, warning residents, “DO NOT venture out!”
Irma this morning also brought wind gusts of 93 mph near Key Largo and 89 mph to Key West. Florida Gov. Rick Scott told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week” that the Keys were “getting pounded.”
— NOAA Satellites (@NOAASatellites) September 10, 2017
By 10 a.m. the storm’s eye was moving away from the Florida Keys, and by 11 a.m., the storm had moved to about 80 miles south-southeast of Naples on Florida’s west coast.
Irma is forecast to move up the western coastline of Florida this afternoon, with another landfall possible later today near Fort Myers and Naples.
Wind gusts of 75 mph were recorded at the Naples Airport early Sunday, and officials were warning people to stay indoors and away from windows.
The storm’s eye is expected to pass near Fort Myers this evening and head over Tampa overnight, bringing the storm near Cedar Key and Tallahassee, along Florida’s panhandle, by Monday morning.
The National Weather Service warned Florida residents that being in the eye of a hurricane can lead to a false sense of security: “IF winds go calm, you’re in the eye. Stay inside! Winds dramatically shift and will do so violently! STAY INSIDE!”
IF winds go calm, you’re in the eye. Stay inside! Winds dramatically shift and will do so violently! STAY INSIDE!
— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) September 10, 2017
Click here to read more.
SOURCE: ABC News, Emily Shapiro