Irma's Wrath

September 20, 2017
Stephanie Kraus with TIME and AP reporting
STORM SURGE Waves from Hurricane Irma crash into a pier in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, on September 10.
CHIP SOMODEVILLA—GETTY IMAGES

Millions of people are recovering from Hurricane Irma. The powerful storm slammed several Caribbean islands and the southern coast of the U.S. Irma made landfall on the island of Barbuda on September 6 as a Category 5 storm.

The island nations of the Bahamas, Puerto Rico, and Cuba were some of the hardest hit. Wind speeds reached 185 miles per hour. The storm turned streets into rivers, knocked down trees, and tossed boats onto land.

Irma made landfall in Florida just two weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas. It marked the first time the U.S. was hit by two Category 4 storms in the same year. Before the storm, Florida governor Rick Scott ordered people to leave their homes and head to safety. But some refused. Downed power lines caused more than 13 million people to lose power. “We will make it through this together,” Scott said at a press briefing.

At press time, the death toll in the Caribbean was 37 people. At least 19 people died in Florida, the state hit hardest by Irma. Skies have cleared. But flooding and power outages are expected to last for weeks.