Miami Local Statement for Cat 5 Hurricane Irma Gives Dire Warnings
Posted on September 7, 2017
Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous category 5 hurricane headed for the Florida peninsula. The National Hurricane Center forecast cone has Irma making landfall somewhere in south Florida on Sunday as a major hurricane (likely Cat 4 or Cat 5) and move up the peninsula into Georgia. Irma is expected to impact heavily populated areas of Florida including the Miami metropolitan area. If it takes this predicted path Irma will likely become the costliest storm in U.S. history.The exact impacts are impossible to forecast because even the most accurate forecast cannot pinpoint the exact landfall and small deviations could be significant. It could deviate from the forecast and Miami might escape the eyewall and the most intense winds. The strongest winds of Hurricane Irma will be in the northeast quadrant. If the northern or northeast eyewall scrapes Miami the city would experience the strongest winds Irma has to offer. Irma currently has extreme maximum sustained winds of 175 mph with higher gusts. Wind speeds may be higher in tall skyscrapers.
A recent local advisory from the National Weather Service (NWS) in Miami, FL gives you an idea of what residents of the region could expect. It also explains why South Florida residents and vacationers are evacuating and seeking shelter. The Miami NWS says to "prepare for life-threatening wind having possible devastating impacts across South Florida" and "prepare for life-threatening surge having possible devastating impacts across coastal Collier, Mainland Monroe, coastal Miami-Dade counties including Biscayne Bay."
Potential Wind Impacts
- Structural damage to sturdy buildings, some with complete roof and wall failures. Complete destruction of mobile homes. Damage greatly accentuated by large airborne projectiles. Locations may be uninhabitable for weeks or months.
- Numerous large trees snapped or uprooted along with fences and roadway signs blown over.
- Many roads impassable from large debris, and more within urban or heavily wooded places. Many bridges, causeways, and access routes impassable.
- Widespread deep inundation, with storm surge flooding greatly accentuated by powerful battering waves. Structural damage to buildings, with many washing away. Damage greatly compounded from considerable floating debris. Locations may be uninhabitable for an extended period.
- Near-shore escape routes and secondary roads washed out or severely flooded. Flood control systems and barriers may become stressed.
- Extreme beach erosion. New shoreline cuts possible.
- Massive damage to marinas, docks, boardwalks, and piers. Numerous small craft broken away from moorings with many lifted onshore and stranded.
- Moderate rainfall flooding may prompt several evacuations and rescues.
- Ditches and canals may quickly become swollen with swift currents and overspill their banks in a few places, especially in usually vulnerable spots.
- Flood waters can enter some structures or weaken foundations.
- Several places may experience expanded areas of rapid inundation at underpasses, low-lying spots, and poor drainage areas. Some streets and parking lots take on moving water as storm drains and retention ponds overflow. Driving conditions become hazardous. Some road and bridge closures.