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Hurricane Irma's long path of destruction

Ben Domensino, Monday September 11, 2017 - 16:25 EST

Hurricane Irma continues to cause life threatening weather after making landfall in Florida on the weekend.

Hurricane Irma's long and destructive path through the Caribbean during the last week culminated in two separate coastal crossings in Florida on Sunday.

Irma made landfall over the Lower Florida Keys on Sunday morning as a category four hurricane with wind speeds of 215km/h near its core.

Irma's second coastal crossing in Florida occurred at Marco Island at 3:35pm local time on Sunday. This time, Irma was a slightly weaker category 3 hurricane, generating sustained winds of 185km/h.

Hurricane Irma's exceptionally long journey towards Florida has left a trail of carnage across the Caribbean. Flash flooding and hurricane force winds caused significant damage on a number of islands between Barbuda northern Cuba during the second half of last week.

During the last 24 hours, Irma has produced destructive winds, flooding rain and a powerful storm surge in Florida.

According to experts, the widespread impacts of Irma a could make this one of the worst hurricanes in America's history. Looking at some of the technical observations from the system so far, Irma has already claimed a place in the record books.

Here are some of Hurricane Irma's standout achievements to date:
- Irma and Harvey have become the first pair of category four hurricanes in recorded history to make landfall in the U.S. during the same year
- Irma maintained maximum wind speeds of 185mph (about 295km/h) for 37 hours - this is the longest any cyclone around the world has maintained winds of this intensity on record
- This maximum wind speed (295km/h) makes Irma the equal second strongest hurricane on record in the Atlantic Basin, beaten only by Hurricane Allen's 305km/h winds in 1980
- Irma was the first category five hurricane to cross Cuba's coast since 1924 and only the second in the country's recorded history

It is estimated that more than three million homes and businesses have lost power in Florida alone. Experts predict this could take weeks to restore.

Hurricane Irma's legacy of devastation is far reaching and the system is still causing widespread severe weather in America's southeast. The latest advisories and forecasts are available on this website: http://www.nhc.noaa.gov/

- Weatherzone

© Weatherzone 2017

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