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Hurricane Irma in the United States

Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Type of Event:
Ocean Storm - Hurricane
Location of Event:
United States
Date of Charter Activation:
6 September 2017
Time of Charter Activation:
19:43:00
Time zone of Charter Activation:
UTC-05:00
Charter Requestor:
U.S. Geological Survey on behalf of Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
Activation ID:
550
Project Management:
Purdue University

Description of the event

Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms the Atlantic has ever seen, made landfall in Florida on 10 September as a Category Four storm. At least 50 people were killed and the storm left flooding and damage to infrastructure in its wake.

Irma had passed through the Caribbean at Category Five strength - the highest on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale - but quickly weakened after making landfall in the United States. By the end of 10 September the storm had rapidly weakened to Category One.

Evacuations began days in advance of Irma's arrival, with hundreds of thousands of people leaving the eastern part of Florida and seeking refuge in emergency shelters in western counties.

The Florida Keys were particularly affected by Irma, which brought a storm surge of 3 metres to the islands, and caused heavy damage to many buildings and impacted water and power supplies. Estimates suggest as many as 25% of the buildings in the Keys were destroyed in the storm, with 90% suffering at least some damage.