Hurricane Irma - Caribbean and United States

6 Sep 2017

Major Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category-5 storm with maximum sustained winds of 282 kph (175 mph) early September 5. The extremely dangerous system has become the strongest storm in the world in 2017.

A hurricane warning has been issued for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Saba, St. Eustatius, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra 

Leeward Islands (September 5-6) 
Catastrophic damage is possible in the northern Leeward Islands, particularly in Antigua and Barbuda, Saint-Martin/Sint Maarten, and Anguilla. The storm will pass very close to these islands, and destructive winds and storm surge of up to 1.8 meters (6 feet) are a near certainty. Torrential rainfall could cause life-threatening flash flooding and debris flows on volcanic islands throughout the region. Severe infrastructure damage is possible, and some islands may be inaccessible for several days after the storm passes due to damage to ports and airports. 

US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico (September 6-7) 
The storm is currently forecast to track close to the US and British Virgin Islands and north of Puerto Rico. Hurricane-force winds will probably affect all these locations, but very heavy rainfall will probably cause the most problems in Puerto Rico, where a state of emergency is in effect. Storm surge may cause serious damage in low-lying areas in the Virgin Islands. 

Dominican Republic, Haiti (September 7-8) 
The storm will likely pass north of Hispaniola, but hurricane-force winds are possible along the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. Torrential rain could produce severe flooding, especially in Haiti. Flooding and mudslides could sever access to some hard-hit areas in Haiti, and humanitarian problems are possible, especially in northern departments where deforestation is a serious issue. 

Turks and Caicos, Eastern Bahamas (September 7-8) 
The storm will likely track close to the Turks and Caicos and islands in the eastern Bahamas. Destructive winds and storm surge will be a serious threat in the low-lying islands. Severe damage is possible. All islands in the Turks and Caicos are at risk. Catastrophic damage is possible on Great Inagua and Ragged islands in the Bahamas. Other populated areas of the Bahamas that will likely experience hurricane-force winds include Mayaguana, Acklins Island, Crooked Island, Long Cay, and Long Island. 

Cuba (September 8-10) 
Forecast models are not in agreement about how close the storm will come to Cuba. The hurricane is expected to reach the very warm waters of the Florida Strait, although it is currently unclear whether it will make landfall along the northern coast of the country. Hurricane-force winds are likely in coastal areas of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, Villa Clara, and possibly Matanzas provinces. Tropical storm-force winds will likely affect a much larger area, including Havana. Significant damage is possible along Cuba's northern coast, and protracted disruptions to the tourism and petroleum sectors are possible. Very heavy rainfall could also cause severe flooding and substantial agricultural losses. Nickel-mining operations could be affected if the storm takes a more southerly track and approaches eastern Cuba. 

Hurricane Warning: Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Saba, St. Eustatius, Saint Martin/Sint Maarten, Saint Barthelemy, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra 

Hurricane Watch: Guadeloupe, Dominican Republic (Cabo Engano to Haitian border) 

Tropical Storm Watch: Guadeloupe, Dominica 

Tropical Storm Warning: Dominican Republic (Cabo Engano to Isla Saona) 


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