Hurricane Irma has made landfall in Florida, and Gov. Rick Scott has requested a major disaster declaration from President Trump for every county in the state. The storm made its first landfall in the U.S. in Cudjoe Key around 9:10 a.m.
News of the landfall was announced by the National Hurricane Center (NHC), which wrote, “Hurricane #Irma makes landfall at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys.”
The NHC also wrote:
“The center of Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 am EDT. A gust to 106 mph (171 km/h) was just reported at the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Key.
What does a major disaster declaration entail and how can it help? The governor told The Today Show:
So I just requested from the president a major disaster declaration which will basically open up even more resources from FEMA that will help not only with the recovery efforts but the restoration efforts…this is clearly going to be a disaster for many parts of our state. And so I talked to our president earlier today and he said that he would provide all of the resources the federal government can provide…I’m hopeful that we’ll get all of the resources, which I believe we will…to make sure we help everybody, save every life and restore as fast as we can…I want every person in this state to be safe. I want to make sure everyone survives.
Storm surges are expected to be anywhere from one to fifteen feet, especially along the west coast area, all the way from Marco Island to the Florida Keys. The storm surge could be the biggest obstacle from the tropical storm, and is the biggest reason for hurricane-related deaths by drowning.
“Storm surge flooding of 10-15 ft is now expected along the SW Florida coast,” the NHC wrote in a tweet. “This is a dire and life-threatening situation.”