UPDATE: Hurricane Irma

8 Sep 2017

Hurricane Warning: Dominican Republic (Cabo Engano to northern border with Haiti), Haiti (northern border with Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas), Turks and Caicos Islands, Southeastern Bahamas, Central Bahamas, Northwestern Bahamas 
Hurricane Watch: Cuba (Matanzas Province eastward to Guantanamo Province), 
Tropical Storm Warning: Dominican Republic (Cabo Engano to southern border with Haiti), Haiti (Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-au-Prince), Cuba (Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas provinces) 

Leeward Islands (September 5-6) 
Severe damage has occurred in the Leeward Islands, particularly on the island of Barbuda in Antigua and Barbuda, where the storm made landfall on September 6. Initial aerial surveys have revealed that about 95 percent of all structures were damaged or destroyed on Barbuda, although the situation was much better on nearby Antigua. Severe damage occurred when the hurricane made landfall on Saint Martin/Sint Maarten. Princess Juliana International Airport (SXM) is largely destroyed, and it will probably remain inoperable for at least several days. Severe damage and flooding was also reported on Saint Barthelemy and Anguilla. Communications with Sint Eustatius and Saba were lost on September 6, although preliminary reports indicate that heavy damage also occurred on these islands. The Royal Netherlands Navy has sent two ships to the region to deliver aid, which was due to begin on September 7. The Statia terminal on Sint Eustatius was shut down before the storm arrived, but there have been no reports about damage at the facility. 

Damage was limited in St. Kitts and Nevis. Robert L. Bradshaw International Airport (SKB) scheduled to reopen on St. Kitts (St. Christopher Island) at midday on September 7. American Airlines (AA) has suspended service to St. Kitts, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and St. Croix through to September 8. Other carriers have also suspended flights to and from the Leeward Islands, although services should resume quickly at undamaged airports once safety assessments are complete and power is restored. 

The Leeward Islands are currently under threat from a second hurricane strike. As of early September 7, Hurricane Jose was centered about 1,570 km (976 miles) east-southeast of Barbuda. The storm was forecast to strengthen into major hurricane and move through the same region where heavy damage occurred. While the center of circulation will probably not pass through the islands, tropical storm-force winds and heavy rainfall could cause further disruptions and complicate recovery efforts on September 9-10. 

US and British Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico (September 6-7) 
The eye of Hurricane Irma passed through Virgin Gorda and the eastern British Virgin Islands on Sept. 6, causing extensive damage. Major flooding and wind damage was also reported on St. John and St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. A curfew is in place throughout the US Virgin Islands until 1800 September 7. 

The eyewall of Hurricane Irma passed north of San Juan around 2000 on September 6. Although the storm did not make landfall in Puerto Rico, very strong winds caused downed trees and power lines.

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