OTs Threatened by Cat 5 Irma
Published 5th September 2017, 10:46am
At 10 am local time, Hurricane Irma was located near latitude 16.8 North, longitude 58.4 West and moving toward the west at 14 mph.
Irma is being described as a ‘potentially catastrophic’ category 5 hurricane and it is now heading towards the Leeward Islands with sustained winds of 180 mph. Hurricane Warnings are in effect for a number of Islands including Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands (BVI), Hurricane Watches have also been issued for a number of locations including Turks and Caicos Islands.
The National Hurricane Center in Miami is calling for preparations to be rushed to completion in the Hurricane Warning area. Hurricane Irma is a large hurricane with hurricane force winds extending out 60 miles and storm force winds extending out up 160 miles.
In addition to very powerful winds, storm surge is expected to raise water levels by 7 to 11 feet above normal along the coasts of the northern Leeward Islands and BVI tonight and tomorrow morning and the hurricane will also be accompanied by very large destructive waves. The highest surge levels will occur along the coast in areas where the hurricane is blowing the wind onshore, with rising waters likely to move inland and inundating normally dry areas away from the shoreline. Irma is expected to produce total rainfall accumulations of 8 to 12 inches across the Leeward Islands and this rainfall may cause life threatening flash floods and mudslides. In addition, very large swells generated by Irma will affect the Northern Leeward Islands and the British Virgin Islands for the next several days and these swells are likely to cause life-threatening surf and rip currents.