By Ashley Williams, AccuWeather staff writer
By Kevin Byrne, AccuWeather staff writer
By Katy Galimberti, AccuWeather staff writer
September 10,2017, 12:01:41PM,EDT
Hurricane Irma is racing toward southwestern Florida for a second U.S. landfall.Irma made landfall as a Category 4 hurricane at Cudjoe Key at 9:10 a.m. EDT on Sunday. The hurricane tore across the Florida Keys early Sunday morning and has sent strong winds and flooding rain into the Florida Peninsula.
More than 1 million people were without power across the state on Sunday morning. Ferocious winds with gusts up to 160 mph will not only knock out power for days, and possibly weeks in some areas, but also bring catastrophic damage.
This is the first year that two Atlantic Basin hurricanes have made landfall at Category 4 strength in the U.S. in one season since records began in 1851.
Irma prompted the largest evacuation in U.S. history, taking 7 million out of their homes. More than 30 percent of Florida's entire population were asked to evacuate.
Click here to see previous reports of how Florida is preparing for Irma.
Hurricane Irma batters Florida with catastrophic storm surge, wind and rain
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11:56 a.m. EDT Sunday: Water is disappearing from Tampa Bay, Key Largo and other areas due to offshore winds, called blowout tides.
"Persistently strong winds blowing towards land cause water to move in that direction," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said.
When strong winds continually blow away from the coast, water is steered out to sea, exposing usually covered land. This can be dangerous, as the water will eventually return fast enough to cause flooding, he said.
11:47 a.m. EDT Sunday: More than 1.5 million FPL customers are without power, with nearly 700,000 in the dark in Miami-Dade County.
FPL pulled in 17,000 crew workers from as far as Canada to deal with Irma's aftermath.
11:10 a.m. EDT Sunday: Tampa is implementing a 6 p.m. EDT curfew. Mayor Bon Buckhorn took to Twitter to plea for residents to take the storm seriously.
10:55 a.m. EDT Sunday: Conditions are deteriorating in the Miami area. A home in Hollywood, just north of Miami, has caught fire but it is too windy for crews to respond, according to Miami Herald reporter Casey Frank:
10:36 a.m. EDT Sunday: Manatee County, just south of Tampa, has issued a 24-hour curfew starting at 3 p.m. EDT.
The city of St. Petersburg, south of Tampa, has also declared a curfew starting at 5 p.m. EDT through the duration of the storm.
"Once winds reach 40+mph, police and fire will no longer be able to respond to citizen calls," the city wrote on Facebook. Response will resume when conditions improve.
Uber is halting operations in Tampa Bay, Orlando and Sarasota starting at noon on Sunday.
10:29 a.m. EDT Sunday: A crane appears to have collapsed in downtown Miami amid strong winds. Miami Herald reporter David Smiley tweeted: "The ball that balances the weight of the anchor on a crane over a high rise in downtown has collapsed and is swinging, striking the building."
10:18 a.m. EDT Sunday: Irma's eye is starting to move out of the Florida Keys. Strong winds, heavy rain and dangerous storm surge will continue to batter the Keys into the afternoon.
"Conditions will continue to deteriorate for Southwest Florida as Irma’s eye approaches," AccuWeather Meteorologist Jordan Root said.
The strongest winds are expected to blast the region into the evening.
"A strong surge, heavy rain, damaging winds and the threat for tornadoes will continue for Miami and all of the east-central portion of Florida," he said.
10:13 a.m. EDT Sunday: Palm Beach County officials have issued a curfew as debris is collecting on roadways.
9:47 a.m. EDT Sunday: Irma's outer bands are starting to reach southwest Florida. A 56-mph wind gust was reported in Ft. Myers.
9: 33 a.m. EDT Sunday: Miami-Dade police are no longer responding to calls as conditions deteriorate in the area.
More than 1 million across Florida are without power.
Nearly 575,000 FPL customers are without power in Miami-Dade County. Another 360,000 are without power in Broward County.
9:24 a.m. EDT Sunday: Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m., according to the NHC.
Irma is the first Category 4 hurricane to hit Florida since Charley in 2004.
8:54 a.m. EDT Sunday: High-rise buildings in Miami are experiencing dangerously strong winds, with gusts near 100 mph. The NWS warned residents to stay away from windows.
CNN reporter Rosa Flores reported debris and downed trees on city streets:
8:22 a.m. EDT Sunday: Conditions continue to deteriorate across South Florida. Wind gusts up to 61 mph have been recorded in West Palm Beach. More are expected to lose power as winds intensify.
7:31 a.m. EDT Sunday: Storm surge is starting to overtake Key West, Florida. Winds are gusting up to 90 mph, according to the NWS.
7:14 a.m. EDT Sunday: Key West, Florida, recorded an 80-mph wind gust as Irma closes in.
At 6:53 a.m. EDT, the pressure at Key West dropped to 962.5 millibars, setting a new record for the lowest pressure ever recorded at that location. The old record was 963.4 millibars from Sept. 1948. Pressure is still dropping, however.
7:00 a.m. EDT Sunday: An extreme wind warning has been issued for the Lower Keys in Florida as Irma's eye wall moves onshore from the south.
Wind gusts up to 160 mph will be possible within the eye wall. While the Extreme Wind Warning is in effect through 9:15 a.m., the Keys will get a brief reprieve from the lashing winds as Irma's eye passes overhead.
The Keys lost power hours ago, but areas north of Irma's current impacts (central and northern Florida) still have access to electricity. However, Florida Power and Light is anticipating as many as 9 million power outages through the early week.
5:59 a.m. EDT Sunday: Extreme, hurricane-force winds are imminent in the lower Florida Keys. Anyone that is still the Keys should go to an interior room away from windows, officials warn.
5:37 a.m. EDT Sunday: Nearly 300,000 customers are without power in Florida, according to Florida Power and Light and Keys Energy Services.
With Irma's landfall due to occur between 7-8 a.m. Sunday, it would be the first Category 4 hurricane to strike Florida since Charley in 2004.
4:05 a.m. EDT Sunday: Irma is now 55 miles south-southeast of Key West, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
Storm surge is already impacting Key West, with total water levels now 2 feet above normal.
Fort Pierce, Florida, has already broken its daily rainfall record for Sept. 10 and the sun hasn't risen yet. The city has received 3.93 inches of rain through 4 a.m. Sunday, surpassing the previous record of 1.63 inches.
3:33 a.m. EDT Sunday: A flash flood warning is in effect for northern St. Lucie County until 5:15 a.m. There are numerous reports of impassible roads in the town of Fort Pierce, Florida, with water entering homes as well.
2:58 a.m. EDT Sunday: Irma's relentless rain and furious winds have already impacted communities in the eastern and western parts of Florida. This video shows the storm's impacts in the city of Boynton Beach, located on Florida's east coast, about an hour north of Miami.
2:05 a.m. EDT Sunday: Irma has strengthened to a Category 4 hurricane again. The storm has maximum-sustained winds of 130 mph and is located about 70 miles south-southeast of Key West, Florida.
Hurricane-force winds of 79 mph have been measured at the National Weather Service office in Key West, while a ship over 200 miles to the northwest of Irma's eye reported a wave height of 13 feet.
1:19 a.m. EDT Sunday: According to the Broward County Emergency Operations Center, the town of Davie, Florida, is reporting that a wastewater pump station has lost power and is not pumping. It is anticipated that the pump station will overflow around 7-9 a.m. Sunday.
This could result in contaminated standing water around the communities of Emerald Isles and Jasmine Lakes Developments.
12:47 a.m. EDT Sunday: The U.S. Coast Guard announced that it was setting "port conditions Zulu" for the port of Jacksonville and Fernandina due to the expected gale-force winds from Irma.
Port condition Zulu is an operational move instituted by the Coast Guard captain. During this time, no vessel may enter or transit within these ports without the port captain's permission.
12:25 a.m. EDT Sunday: A tropical storm watch for Irma has now been extended into central and southern Georgia, including the Atlanta metro area.
11:19 p.m. EDT Saturday: The National Hurricane Center has discontinued the storm surge warning north of North Miami Beach to Jupiter Inlet in Florida.
Meanwhile, the NHC extended the storm surge warning westward from Suwannee River to the Ochlockonee River.
As power outages continue to increase across southern Florida, Irma is currently moving northwest at 6 mph with maximum-sustained winds of 120 mph, according to the NHC.
10:22 p.m. EDT Saturday: Hurricane-force winds are beginning to pound the Florida Keys as Irma approaches. The hurricane is expected to make landfall east of Key West on Sunday morning.
9:55 EDT Saturday: As Hurricane Irma’s strong and dangerous winds intensify in South Florida, some law enforcement agencies are beginning to send officers and emergency personnel to safety until winds calm down.
9:41 p.m. EDT Saturday: It’s possible that power outages resulting from Hurricane Irma will be “extremely broad and probably long lived,” according to FEMA Director Brock Long.
Florida Power and Light estimated that the powerful hurricane could leave about 3.4 million of its customers without electricity during the storm, according to CNN.
More than 72,000 people are currently without power in Florida as of 9 p.m. EDT, according to the Florida Division of Emergency Management.
7:50 p.m. EDT Saturday: Tampa International Airport has officially closed as Irma closes in on Florida.
According CBS News, to 9,900 flights were canceled so far at airports in Hurricane Irma’s path.
6:44 p.m. EDT Saturday: A possible tornado was spotted in Oakland Park, Florida, just north of Fort Lauderdale.
More than 80,000 power outages are being reported by Florida Power and Light.
6:20 p.m. EDT Saturday: President Donald Trump urges everyone to heed all warnings, because Hurricane Irma is a storm with tremendous power.
There is a blowout tide in Long Island, Bahamas. Strong east winds from Irma are blowing water away from the coast and causing areas that normally are under seawater to be dry.
"It’s likely flooding on the other side of that island as Irma’s winds cause water to pile up along the shore," AccuWeather Meteorologist Frank Strait said.
These strong east winds are forcing seawater to pile up along the east coast of Florida, which is leading to some flooding.