Treasure Coast in Hurricane Irma’s cone!
As of the 5am update, Irma is a strong Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 150mph. She is moving to the west at 14mph. Governor Rick Scott has already declared a State of Emergency in all 67 counties of Florida. Even though we wouldn’t be feeling the storm’s effects until the weekend, locals are already stocking up on supplies.
Irma is currently a Cat 4 hurricane, and is projected to be a major hurricane as it approaches Florida, which means a Category 3 or higher.
The category of a hurricane depends on its maximum sustained wind speeds. Those speeds are outlined in the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale which gives a hurricane its category 1 to 5 rating. A Category 1 has winds between 74 and 95mph. The winds will produce some damage to homes while large branches of trees will snap and shallowly rooted trees may be toppled. Power outages could last for a couple of days. Category 2 storms have winds between 96 and 110mph. Near-total power loss is expected with outages that could last from several days to weeks. Category 3 storms have winds between 111 and 129mph.
What to expect
Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes. Category 4 storms are between 130 and 156mph winds that can create catastrophic damage. Most trees will be snapped or uprooted and power poles downed. Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for a period of time. The strongest storms are rated Category 5. Winds are 157mph or higher. A high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse.
Water managers are keeping close tabs on Hurricane Irma and working hard to bring down water levels, just in case the storm should hit South Florida. The South Florida Water Management had several spillways open yesterday, releasing water. Some of these releases would have happened anyway, but even more water is being dumped out in preparation of Irma. Water levels in the Everglades have been very high this year, threatening the animals and habitat. Even though water levels remain high in the Central Everglades, fortunately Lake Okeechobee is amazingly low for this time of year, reducing the need to make harmful releases from the lake to the Stuart area.
If you need gas, you better fill up now. Gas prices have been going up every day since Hurricane Harvey slammed the gulf, and now Hurricane Irma is hot on his heels. According to Triple-A, the current average in Florida is $2.67 a gallon, up 36 cents since a week ago. The West Palm Beach area has the highest prices in the state, at $2.77 a gallon. Here on the Treasure Coast gas ranges from $2.39 to as high as $2.79 a gallon.
BULLETIN Hurricane Irma Advisory Number 24 NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017 500 AM AST Tue Sep 05 2017 ...DANGEROUS HURRICANE IRMA HEADING FOR THE LEEWARD ISLANDS WITH 150 MPH WINDS... SUMMARY OF 500 AM AST...0900 UTC...INFORMATION ---------------------------------------------- LOCATION...16.6N 57.0W ABOUT 320 MI...515 KM E OF THE LEEWARD ISLANDS MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...150 MPH...240 KM/H PRESENT MOVEMENT...W OR 270 DEGREES AT 14 MPH...22 KM/H MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...937 MB...27.67 INCHES