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Residents of South Florida woke up Sunday morning to Hurricane Irma making landfall at 9:10 a.m. in the Florida Keys as a monster Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
The monster storm made a second landfall later at 3:35 p.m. near Marco Island as it continued traveling north along Florida’s Gulf Coast. The National Hurricane Center (NHC) expects Irma to continue overnight into Monday before finally losing hurricane strength status.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 10, 2017
By Sunday afternoon Irma had been downgraded to a Category 2 hurricane, but the NHC was still warning of an “imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida west coast.” More than 6.3 million people evacuated from their homes after the Florida governor ordered those in Irma’s projected path to seek safe shelter away from the storm. Curfews for 6:00 p.m. have been declared by local officials in the cities of St. Petersburg and Tampa Bay.
As Florida residents continue to brace for life-threatening storm surges of up to 15 feet, here are 11 surreal scenes from Miami that reminded us of a real-life disaster movie:
In what is either a generous act of charity or an unnerving example of the control Tesla exercises over the vehicles it producers, or perhaps both, Tesla CEO Elon Musk has magically unlocked the batteries of every Tesla in Florida to maximize the distance that people fleeing from Hurricane Irma can travel before stopping to refuel at one of the company’s “superstation” charging centers.
Typically, these types of over-the-air upgrades can cost thousands – if not tens of thousands – of dollars.
Update 9 (1:10pm): Deputies shot and wounded a burglar and arrested his accomplice at a Florida home as Hurricane Irma blew in.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said in a news release Sunday that the homeowners in Weston were out of town but saw the burglars remotely inside the house through a home surveillance system. Deputies responded shortly before 3 a.m. and one of the two juvenile males was shot outside the home. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The other person was arrested.
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Update 8 (12:54 pm): Miami’s financial center appears to now be flooding as ocean water enters city streets as part of the storm’s surge.
As we noted on Friday, sea-level analytics firm Climate Central had created a simulation based on the National Hurricane Center’s Coastal Emergency Risks Assessment storm surge and wave modeling that illustrated the devastating flooding in Miami that could result from Hurricane Irma’s storm surge. By overlaying the NHC data with a three-dimensional visual of the city obtained using Google maps, the firm created a realistic visual of what the city would look like under between seven and 11 feet of water.
Luckily, in the last minute the Hurricane shifted westward, but the concerns remain.
Given the expected intensity of the flooding, some readers might assume that the dreaded surge would be the result of tsunami-like waves overwhelming the city’s beaches. But that’s not the case. As the Associated Press explains, the hurricane-force winds draw in water not just form the ocean, but other nearby bodies of water as well. However, forecasters say surges kill more people than the strong winds.
As Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned, the surge “will cover your house.” Already, at least three Floridians have died in the Keys.
Florida’s highways and backroads are clogged with motorists after Gov. Rick Scott has ordered an unprecedented 6.2 million residents of central and southern Florida to evacuate. Meanwhile, Miami, along with many towns and cities along the state’s southeastern coast, resembles a ghost town, according to the New York Post.
To recap: The category 4 storm has already carved a path of destruction through the Caribbean, leaving 90% or Barbuda uninhabitable and nearly a million people without power in Puerto Rico. And now, with the storm’s outer bands already battering the southern part of the state, meteorologists are saying Irma has suddenly shifted westward and is now heading toward Florida’s Gulf Coast – specifically, the Tampa Bay area.
Here’s the Associated Press:
Forecasters expect Irma’s core to come ashore Sunday and strike the Keys, southwestern Florida and the Tampa Bay region, which hasn’t felt a major hurricane since 1921. The eye is expected to miss heavily-populated Miami, which may have dodged a bubble in the last minute, but that area will still get life-threatening hurricane conditions even without a direct hit, Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.
Update 3: The Irma hits just keep on coming, with the NHC Atlantic Ops twitter page reporting moments ago that as of this moment, Irma is now the stronger hurricane in the Atlantic basin outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico in NHC records.
— NHC Atlantic Ops (@NHC_Atlantic) September 5, 2017
According to Bloomberg, Irma’s current path – headed straight for Florida – has prompted the state to prepare for the “catastrophic” system. Unlike Harvey, which caused widespread damage, power outages and flooding and taking almost a fifth of U.S. oil refining capacity offline, Irma is a bigger threat to agriculture, with orange juice futures surging.
With the monster Cat-5 Hurricane Irma fast approaching what looks increasingly like an inevitable Florida landfall later this week, Governor Rick Scott has just announced that he has activated 100 members of the Florida Air and Army National Guard, with an additional 7,000 members expected to be activated Friday morning. Per the Miami Herald:
About 100 members of the Florida Air and Army National Guard were activated Tuesday to begin preparations for Hurricane Irma and all 7,000 members will report for duty Friday morning, Gov. Rick Scott said.
“He started to struggle and scream for help and they just laughed,” Martinez said. “They didn’t call the police. They just laughed the whole time. He was just screaming … for someone to help him.” The teenagers didn’t stop joking about Dunn when he failed to surface in the water.
“Oh, he just died,” said one as the others laughed.
In a news story that sounds like something from Mad Max, a group of Florida teenagers who filmed themselves laughing and cracking jokes while a disabled man drowned, and then left the scene without telling anybody, will face criminal charges after all – but there’s a catch.
The teenagers, each between the ages of 14 and 16, will be charged with not reporting a death, a misdemeanor offense under Florida law. Authorities initially said there didn’t appear to be grounds to prosecute the teens, who were caught on camera mocking 32-year-old Jamel Dunn as he drowned in Cocoa, Florida, according to the New York Post.
A parasitic worm that can infect people’s brains has been found throughout Florida, according to a new study.
The researchers found the parasite, called rat lungworm, living in rats and snails in five Florida counties in both the central and northern parts of the state. Rat lungworm was previously found in southern Florida, and the new study is one of the first to show the extent of the parasite’s spread across the state.
Florida cops arrested seven volunteers from an activist group called Food Not Bombs for feeding homeless people in a park Saturday afternoon.
Tampa police say they made the arrests because the group doesn’t have a permit to serve the food, which requires an insurance policy.
But Food Not Bombs has served food in the same park more than 100 times without problems, according to cltampa.com.
Hurricane Matthew has remained offshore, for the most part, as it has advanced up the eastern coast of Florida preventing a “worst-case” scenario in terms of damage. While the storm surge has been significant, only 1 person has died in the U.S. so far while as many as 1 million have lost power, according to ABC.
The storm surge and loss of power has been significant:
— Grant Lynch (@grantlynch1234) October 7, 2016
— CBS News (@CBSNews) October 7, 2016
As Governor Rick Scott pointed out this morning, Florida was spared a direct hit from Hurricane Matthew with “no reports of significant damage” but warned residents to remain cautious.
A massive sinkhole at a fertilizer plant in Mulberry, Florida, has caused about 215 million gallons of radioactive water to drain down into the Floridian aquifer system, according to ABC affiliate WFTS.
The aquifer system supplies drinking water to millions of Florida residents, according to the St. Johns Water Management District’s website. Additionally, water that escapes from the aquifers create springs used for recreational activities like snorkeling and swimming.
Not everything has to be regulated. Not everything has to be codified and signed off on by the red tape gurus. Life CAN happen just fine without such interference. And when the government is stopping a man from feeding the hungry, rest assured something is very wrong with the regulations, the codes, and the local bureaucrats.
(From The NY Daily News)
When 90-year-old Florida resident Arnold Abbott said following his arrest on Sunday that police couldn’t stop him from feeding the homeless, he apparently meant it.
Abbott was charged again on Wednesday night for violating a new city law in Ft. Lauderdale that essentially prevents people from feeding the homeless.
“I expected it” he said in a Sun Sentinel report. “At least this time they let us feed people first.”
Florida may be known for its tropical climate and spicy Latin-American culture, but what it’s not known for is the freedom to garden. The southeastern state continues to make headlines over the state government’s contempt for front yard gardens.
Tom Carroll and Hermine Ricketts had been cultivating their garden for 17 years when their hometown, Miami Shores, passed a new ordinance restricting vegetable growing to the backyard. The couple begrudgingly dug up their lush garden in August 2013, after local officials threatened them with a daily fine of $50, according to reporting by Fox News.
On Tuesday, July 26, Florida’s Environmental Regulation Commission voted 3-2 in favor of passing controversial new water quality standards that will raise the maximum allowable levels of more than two dozen cancer-causing chemicals to be dumped into the state’s rivers and streams.
The new standards, which were based on Florida Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) recommendations, were passed despite strong opposition from clean water advocates who say that the move poses a serious health threat and paves the way for widespread fracking operations in the state.
Officials have said that at least four people in Florida have contracted the Zika virus and warn that the virus now appears to be spreading domestically either through contact with mosquitoes or direct human-to-human transmission. Until recently, the virus only appeared in individuals infected outside of the United States, primarily in South America.
In an alarming development, according to CNN, federal, state and local officials have been deployed to canvas neighborhoods in Florida. The stated purpose is to ask questions, request urine samples and determine the spread of the virus.
– Severe rains continue to sweep Florida: The worst flood in the last 65 years hits Tampa (The Watchers, Aug 5, 2015):
Heavy rainfall which was continually falling across Tampa, Florida, since July 20, 2015, has caused severe flooding in the area. 40 people were evacuated from their mobile homes in Sherwood Forest RV and Caledesi Travel Trailer Park, on August 3, as the water levels varied between 91.4 and 122 cm (3 and 4 feet). The Pasco County Sheriff’s Office described the situation as the worst flood in the last 65 years.
– Leaderboards (12160):
Video: FLORIDA Martial Law Drills – JADE HELM
HUGE MILITARY EXERCISE IN FORT LAUDERDALE FLORIDA #JADEHELM 2015
public liaison said one of the reasons the jade helm op was being conducted was to judge ‘how efficiently they could maneuver through the public without being detected.’