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In many ways, Hurricane Irma could have been much worse.

If she had stayed on water, just off the west coast of Florida, her effects would have been more devastating than they were.

It was divine mercy that got her to touch land on Sunday afternoon, September 10, 2017.

For those unaware of hurricane categories, here is a witty interpretation before we get into the serious business of winds, storm surge and flooding:

This is a must-see humorous video:

Now for the serious business.

This is Havana post-Irma:

After Cuba, Irma, still a Category 4 at that point, hit the Florida Keys:

Damage was widespread:

On the northeastern end of the Keys, it was much the same in places:

Meanwhile, on the east coast of Florida, there were hurricane force winds and storm surges.

There was a lot of activity on the east coast, from late Saturday well into Sunday. The Miami Herald has several videos from journalists and readers to illustrate Irma’s ferocity.

This is was what was happening on Sunday afternoon (another image here):

By Sunday evening, this had happened:

On Sunday morning, Irma hit the Florida mainland at Marco Island:

Her eye began breaking up. However, her intensity continued.

Nearby Naples was next (another video here):

Extensive flooding occurred there in places.

Sundance at The Conservative Treehouse is a Floridian who helps with hurricane relief and rescue. He says that certain phenomena, such as water being sucked off of coastlines and out of canals and rivers, haven’t been seen in such a widespread way since Hurricane Donna in 1960:

In 1960 Hurricane Donna drained the Caloosahatchee River in Fort Myers during her NE turn toward Jacksonville. Ironically That was September 10th, 1960. The tidal flows will play a role in the pending Storm Surge …

The top of the storm is moving water away from the gulf beaches and barrier islands in proportion to the timing of the tide. However, all of that water -along with the water carried by the storm’s energy, will come back in with the backside of the storm. And if that times with an incoming tide…. The results are a fast and widespread storm surge, even up river as all the water piles up.

This occurred in several places along the west coast, including Tampa Bay:

This was Tampa later on (another image, albeit dry, here):

This is what Naples looked like when water was sucked away:

In areas where this occurred, people were told not to go out and take a walk:

Sure enough:

Late on Sunday, Irma reached Orlando:

The state faced tornado warnings as well as winds and flooding:

This is Jacksonville:

Not surprisingly:

Especially around Miami and Fort Lauderdale:

By evening, this was the overall view as Irma continued making her way northward (another image here and extent of winds here and here):

The forecast showed no relief in sight:

First responders were on the ground later on Sunday:

Also:

This is the forecast for neighbouring and distant states. It is amazing that Irma’s reach will extend inland as a tropical depression to Indiana and Illinois:

To the immediate northwest, Alabama is preparing:

Mobile Bay also had water sucked out of it.

Other states, including North Carolina, are also getting ready:

This was her energy on Sunday:

Overall:

Irma’s days as a hurricane may have ended. However, as a tropical storm, she is far from over. More tomorrow.

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