The Damage Of Hurricane Irma So Far

Still holding tight to a category five, Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest storms ever recorded in the Atlantic. On Wednesday the hurricane made landfall for the first time and left a path of destruction behind.

Irma ripped through the island of Barbuda Wednesday with maximum sustained winds of 185 mph. While officials are still accessing the overall damage, there are 13 recorded deaths in the Caribbean.

According to French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb, there were eight people killed on St. Martin Island and 21 more injured. The airport on the island is not functional, but Collomb said 100,000 military emergency rations would be sent to the population.

A toddler was killed in Barbuda as the child’s mother attempted to move to safer ground, said Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne. The island of Barbuda suffered near demolition with over 90 percent of its buildings destroyed at the hand of Irma.

On Wednesday, Barbuda recorded the strongest winds of Irma out of all Caribbean islands with 155 mph gusts. Antigua fared better than Barbuda and Browne called for Barbuda’s 2,000 inhabitants to voluntarily evacuate to the sister island.

Photo: Rinsy Xieng/RCI Guadeloupe

In Anguilla, one person died where Irma caused “moderate to severe damage” to “critical infrastructure,” which included the hospital, airport, fire station, police station, government buildings, public utilities and more, said the Department of Disaster Management in British territory.

The U.S. Virgin Islands experienced 131 mph on Buck Island north of St. Croix.

On Thursday, Irma hit Puerto Rico with wind gusts of 70 mph killing three people with its impact, said the governor’s office. Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said in a news conference, per ABC news, that 6,200 people were hunkered down at shelters when Irma hit.

Photo: NOAA

The hurricane dropped two to eight inches of rain across the island and up to 12 inches in isolated spots. So far there are one million customers documented without power, and 17 percent of the U.S. territory has no safe water to drink.

Later Thursday the U.S. Coast Guard launched crews to conduct search and rescue flights in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands to help anyone in potential danger after Irma.

Florida is still bracing for Hurricane Irma’s impact. Though wind speeds have dropped to 175 mph the storm remains a dangerous category five and power outages, flooding and debris are big concerns.