Hurricane Irma left a path of destruction in her wake. Florida is reeling from the damage, and millions remain without power. Flooding from rain and storm surge has occurred as far inland as the Carolinas. Multiple Caribbean islands faced Irma’s harshest conditions when she hit as a category 5, leaving 90 percent of the islands destroyed.
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Satellite imagery shows just how severe the storm actually was to the planet. The southwest coast of Florida, with normally lush blue seas that attract thousands of tourist every year, is left with beaches devoid of water, effectively turning the area into a barren wasteland.
The Caribbean islands, especially St. Thomas, recorded over 150 MPH winds and rampant flooding. Satellite images show the island, before Irma, green and vibrant. After the storm, a murky brown landmass was all that remained.
The sudden browning of the islands is likely a result of the heavy winds the vegetation sustained at the peak of the storm.
Other phenomena took place after the storm as well. Video of the tides in the Bahamas show beach water completely vanishing into the storm, leaving behind nothing but sand as far as the eye can see.
Hurricane Irma, which was estimated to be the size of the state of Ohio, covered 98 percent of Florida during the storm earlier this week. An Associated Press science writer outlined the severity of the storm in a recent article.
By his calculations, Irma, a single storm, surpassed the strength and duration of a normal entire hurricane season in the Atlantic.
ABC News reported that 90 percent of all homes and property in the Florida Keys have been destroyed. The death toll resulting from Irma continues to grow, surpassing 20 deaths at this time.
Experts predicted an above-average hurricane season this year, but it is unlikely any of them could have predicted this behemoth storm.
The National Weather Channel has reported that 15 to 20 more hurricane-strength storms are expected to develop before Nov. 30, the last day of the season. But, hopefully, none as powerful as Irma.