Hurricane Irma’s Core Slams Into The Lower Florida Keys With ‘The Worst Yet To Come’

As projected, Hurricane Irma’s core made landfall Sunday morning in the Florida Keys, which already saw an incredible storm surge on Saturday night. In the above clip, CNN captured palm trees that had snapped in half in Miami Beach with hurricane force winds are holding steady at a sustained 75+ mph, along with street signs that struggled to stay in place and flooding in the streets. These effects are even worse in the Keys, where this camera crew (wisely) did not travel and where winds are reaching reaching the 90 mph mark on parts of the island.

This National Weather Service graphic warns in this graphic that hunkering down is the only option for those who did not evacuate, and “the worst winds are yet to come” throughout the Keys and the rest of the state.

Indeed Hurricane Irma has returned to Category 4 status and packs 130+ mph sustained winds. Key West and the rest of the Keys will soon feel more severe effects, and up on the mainland, Miami is already feeling hurricane force winds. Here’s a National Weather Service GIF of the eye wall as it closes in on the lower Keys after devastating the Caribbean.

Altogether, 36 million people are now under a hurricane warning as Irma arrives. USA Today forecasts the storm as moving into southwestern Florida later on Sunday before sliding up the Gulf Coast and straight into Tampa Bay. Deadly storm surges could reach up to 15 feet along the coast, where millions upon millions of people have chosen not to evacuate Florida — and the entire state will feel the effects of this storm. In this CNN clip, one man explains his “emotional attachment to Key West” as the reason he stayed behind. May he and everyone else stay safe throughout this hurricane in the coming days.

(Via CNN, National Weather Service & USA Today)