Hurricane Irma - September 2017
Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful and catastophic Cape Verde type hurricane, the strongest observed in the Atlantic since Dean in 2007 in terms of maximum sustained winds. It was the strongest and the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands, followed by Hurricane Maria only two weeks later. It was also the most intense Atlantic hurricane to strike the United States since Katrina in 2005, and the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in 2005. Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage throughout its long lifetime, particularly in parts of the northeastern Carribbean and the Florida Keys.
Irma developed on August 30, 2017 near the Cape Verde Islands, from a tropical wave that had moved off the west African coast three days prior. Under favorable conditions, Irma rapidly intensified shortly after formation. On September 4, Irma resumed intensifying, becoming a Category 5 hurricane by early the next day. On September 6, Irma reached its peak intensity with 185 mph winds and a minimum pressure of 914 hPa, making it the second most intense tropical cyclone worldwide so far in 2017. Irma dropped back to Category 3 by the time it made a second Florida landfall on Marco Island.
As of September 19, the hurricane has caused at least 101 deaths, including 44 in the Carribbean and 57 in the the United States.
On September 4, Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for Florida, and placed 100 members of the Florida National Guard on duty to assist in preparations.