Hurricane Irma Bears Down on Southern Florida
Sunday, September 10, 2017 at 1:00 p.m. EST
According to the NOAA’s National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a Category 4 storm on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale as it made contact with the Florida Keys early on Sunday morning. As the hurricane moves north-northwest over the Florida Keys and into the mainland, the NHC predicts it will continue on a northern path inland across Florida into Monday, arriving at southwestern Georgia by Monday afternoon.
Storm surge is predicted to be very dangerous as a result of Hurricane Irma as the NOAA’s NHC has predicted some areas could experience up to 15 feet of storm surge. As experts discussed with the Chicago Tribune, “storm surge occurs when heavy winds push the ocean onto the land.” The danger of this salt water being pushed into land is, as explained by storm surge specialist Jamie Rhome, “the rising seas could cause fatalities among people who do not evacuate”, continuing, “you’re talking about communities and areas inundated by salt water.”
The NOAA’s National Weather Service predicts storm has depicted some of the estimated levels of storm surge as a result of Hurricane Irma below:
FEMA has cautioned residents that are in Irma’s path to seek shelter above storm surge and flooding levels.
Here’s the breakdown of public advisories from NOAA’s National Hurricane Center (NHC) 11:00 AM EST, September 10, 2017 update:
- Storm Surge Warning is in effect for:
- South Santee River southward to Jupiter Inlet
- North Miami Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to the Ochlockonee River
- Florida Keys
- Tampa Bay
- Hurricane Warning is in effect for:
- Fernandina Beach southward around the Florida peninsula to Indian Pass
- Florida Keys
- Lake Okeechobee
- Florida Bay
- Cuban provinces of Matanzas and La Habana
- Hurricane Watch is in effect for:
- North of Fernandina Beach to Edisto Beach;
- Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for:
- West of Indian Pass to the Okaloosa/Walton County Line
- North of Fernandina Beach to South Santee River
- A Tropical Storm Watch is in effect for:
- Bimini and Grand Bahama
For all current updates, please refer to products from your local weather service.
Evacuations Orders Across the Southeast U.S.*
*Evacuation notifications are subject to change and should be actively monitored. Hagerty recommends consulting your local government for official changes in evacuation guidance.
- FEMA: U.S. Virgin Islands Hurricane Irma 3383, Puerto Rico Hurricane Irma 3384, Florida Hurricane Irma 3385, South Carolina Irma 3386, Georgia Hurricane Irma 3387, Seminole Tribe of Florida Hurricane Irma 3388
- Florida: A State of Emergency has been declared in Florida by Governor Rick Scott for all 67 counties in the state.
- Georgia: A State of Emergency has been declared in Georgia by Governor Nathan Deal for 94 counties
- North Carolina: A State of Emergency has been declared in North Carolina by Governor Roy Cooper for all 100 counties in the state.
- South Carolina: A State of Emergency has been declared in South Carolina by Governor Henry McMaster across the state.
Resources and Related Links
Hurricane Harvey Recovery and Relief Resources:
Many of the areas impacted by Hurricane Harvey remain hazardous disaster zones and are still in the earliest stages of recovery. To be part of recovery efforts, please see resources listed below:
- New York Times List of Local and National Charitable Organizations dedicated to Hurricane Harvey recovery
- National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster: link
- Americares: link
- American Red Cross: link
Hurricane Irma News and Updates:
- The National Hurricane Center regularly updated tracking of Hurricane Irma: link
- Remember, Ready.gov provides information on how to prepare for a storm and how to keep you and your family safe: link
Hagerty Consulting is an emergency management consulting firm that helps our clients prepare for and recover from disasters. Established in 2001, Hagerty Consulting’s work includes some of the nation’s largest recovery and preparedness projects in more than 30 states, including 9/11, Hurricane Katrina, and Hurricane Sandy.
You can learn more about our disaster recovery practice here.