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Irma hits Florida: Where to watch the hurricane’s arrival as it happens

Hurricane Irma began its assault on Florida early Sunday with the storm’s northern eyewall reaching the lower Florida Keys as a powerful Category 4 storm.

world Updated: Sep 10, 2017 19:17 IST
Agencies, St Petersburg
Hurricane Irma,Hurricane,Irma
Trees and branches are seen after being knocked down by the high winds as hurricane Irma arrives in Miami, Florida.(AFP Photo)

Hurricane Irma’s eyewall slammed into the Florida Keys Sunday, lashing the island chain with fearsome wind gusts. As it bears down on the state’s west coast where a mass exodus has turned cities into ghost towns.

Irma, packing maximum sustained winds of 130 miles (215 kilometers) per hour, was upgraded overnight to a Category Four storm as it closed in on the Keys, the National Hurricane Center said. Six million people -- one third of the state’s population -- have been ordered to evacuate their homes ahead of the monster storm.

The eye of the hurricane was 20 miles east-southeast of Key West as of 8 am local time, threatening dangerous storm surges up to 15 feet -- enough to cover a house.

A number of webcams are showing live feeds as Hurricane Irma approaches Florida. Please note that livestreams may go down as weather conditions worsen. Here’s where you can watch the storm:

1) Southernmost point buoy, Key West

“EVERYONE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS... IT IS TIME TO HUNKER DOWN,” the NWS warned before the hurricane rammed into the tropical islands popular as a destination for fishing, boating and scuba diving.

“THE WORST WINDS ARE YET TO COME.”

2) Lauderdale, Wind gusts in excess of 60 mph

For those still at home, it was too late to flee the wrath of one of the most powerful hurricanes ever to slam storm-prone Florida, after cutting a path of devastation across the Caribbean.

In Key West, police opened a “shelter of last resort” for those who had ignored evacuation orders.

3) Marathon Florida Cam

4) Downtown Orlando

5) Cruise ship docks in Key West

The cities of Naples, Fort Myers and the densely populated peninsulas of Tampa Bay on Florida’s west coast were in the crosshairs of the historic storm, which was churning slowly northwest at eight miles per hour.

“It’s going to be horrible,” Florida Governor Rick Scott said of Irma on NBC television Sunday morning. “Now we have to hunker down and watch out for each other.”

More than 430,000 homes and businesses were already without power, mainly in southern Florida, according to utility company Florida Power and Light, which said it had “safely shut down” one of two nuclear reactors at its Turkey Point power plant.

You can watch the livestreaming of the situation at Fort Myers here.

First Published: Sep 10, 2017 19:15 IST