Hurricane Irma left at least a quarter of homes in Florida Keys completely destroyed and another 65% with major damage. “Basically, every house in the Keys was impacted some way” Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Brock Long said. The storm killed at least 40 people, 5 of them from United States. “The devastation left by Hurricane Irma was far greater, at least in certain locations, than anyone thought, but amazing people working hard” President Trump tweeted. Irma, which was downgraded to a post tropical cyclone Tuesday morning, tore through Caribbean and into Florida over the course of nearly two weeks, leaving more than 6 million people without power across five states. “This will be the largest ever mobilization of (electric) line restoration workers in this country, period, end of story” Trump’s homeland security adviser, Tom Bossert, said. The French Government estimated damage at almost $1,5 billion in just St Bart’s and French St Martin, with Prime Minister of Antigua and Barbuda, Gaston Browne, describing the country as “barely habitable.” Florida Gov Rick Scott told that the storm left “devastation” in Keys, which were under mandatory evacuation orders throughout the storm. Irma made landfall there Sunday morning as a Category 4 hurricane with winds of 130 mph and a storm surge of at least 10 feet.
An estimated 10’000 people remained on low-lying islands despite orders to leave. Phil Klotzbach, an atmospheric research scientist at Colorado State University, said Irma broke a series of records amid its destructive path, including the longest run as a Category 5 storm, more than 3 days, since forecasters started using satellites to monitor tropical storms more than 50 years ago. What’s more, it generated enough accumulated cyclone energy, or total wind energy over the course of a storm’s lifetime, to achieve National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s definition of an average full Atlantic hurricane season completely on its own. That means, according to Klotzbach, Irma alone was more powerful than 18 of last 51 full hurricane seasons since 66′. Officials on Tuesday allowed for residents from Key Largo, Tavernier and Islamorada to return home and assess the damage to their homes. Others further north, from Miami Beach, were also permitted to return home Tuesday morning. Despite Irma’s weakening, experts told that the storm will continue to dump heavy rainfall across several states, including Savannah and other parts of coastal Georgia. Parts of North and South Carolina were bracing for flash flooding, with areas in Alabama also still vulnerable, according to Weather Prediction Center.