Hurricane Irma slammed into the Florida Keys on Sunday morning with meteorologists promising that the “worst was yet to come.” Very quickly, the storm made its presence further known throughout South Florida, including Miami (shown above), which was absolutely thrashed by dangerous winds and filled with flood waters that were — in some areas — waist deep. The city sustained significant damage to many structures, including the Miami Heat arena, and about half of South Florida’s residents are without power.
Meanwhile, Irma began pushing up the Gulf Coast, and the storm’s eyewall made a second landfall on Marco Island, which immediately lost power, per the police chief: “In worst part of storm. No power, no water. On back up radio system. We’re all hanging in there ready to get out there to help others as soon as it’s safe to do so.”
From there, the storm headed to Naples with 143 mph sustained winds recorded at the city’s main airport. Flooding from Irma’s storm surge began without delay, and these videos show whiteout conditions (visibility deteriorated within 15 minutes as Irma’s eyewall arrived) and violent gusts of wind from the still-strong Category 2 hurricane.
MOMENTS AGO: Violent Wind Gusts at Naples Municipal Airport In Florida pic.twitter.com/8WaHSxnh1z
— Breaking911 (@Breaking911) September 10, 2017
Naturally, the Weather Channel sent out another poor intrepid reporter to brave Tampa’s insane conditions. Here’s Mike Bettes holding on for dear life.