After wreaking havoc on several islands in the Caribbean, Hurricane Irma made landfall in the United States by hitting Florida.
Irma slammed Florida as a Category 4 hurricane and brought 10-15 foot storm surges, leaving parts of downtown Miami completely submerged. Twitter user Killarney Knight posted a video showing downtown Miami flooded with water.
The video shows skyscrapers bordering the Miami River flooding as Irma makes landfall.
Irma was packing 160 mph (260 kph) winds when it made landfall in Cuba, the first storm of that power to reach the island since 1932. It caused major damage to tourist infrastructure, including an international airport on the sandy keys popular with Europeans and Canadians.
It tore off roofs and downed electricity poles throughout the country before turning northwards and striking Florida.
The hurricane knocked out power to nearly 4 million homes and businesses in Florida, threatening millions more as it crept up the state’s west coast, and full restoration of service could take weeks, local electric utilities said.
The destruction caused by the hurricane is so intense it’s jeopardizing Florida’s bustling tourism industry. Some of the state’s biggest attractions announced temporary closures, including amusement park giants Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, Universal Studios, Legoland and Sea World.
According to the PortMiami website, about 20 cruise lines have Miami as a home port or a port of call and many had to move ships out of the area and revise schedules.
Florida is one of the world’s top tourism destinations. Last year nearly 113 million people visited the state, a new record, and spent $109 billion, state officials said earlier this year. According to officials, the first half of 2017 was on track to beat that record pace.
From my brother's Univision colleagues in downtown Miami pic.twitter.com/ADJlO5R6tR— Paul Adams (@BBCPaulAdams) September 10, 2017
Wow! Stay safe everyone. Am thinking of all Floridians from north of our borders.— barrieblonde ?? (@barrieblonde) September 10, 2017
Thumbnail Credits: Reuters, Stephen Yang