Hurricane Irma slams into Florida

Hurricane Irma has reached Florida in the US, after causing more than 1 million power outages and lashing major centres with rain and wind.

As photos and videos taken from the various scenes of the storms show, however, Hurricane Irma has brought ferocious winds and the potential for catastrophic storm surges with it.

"I think it's certainly got the potential to intensify", Klotzbach said.

But some state residents planned to ride out the storm in their homes.

Jose was passing north of a string of already storm-damaged Caribbean islands Saturday afternoon, the National Hurricane Center said, whipping some of them with tropical storm-force winds and rain that could exacerbate flooding there.

A view from a web cam on Ocean Drive, which is by the South Beach neighborhood of Miami Beach. Photo: Joe Raedle/GETTY 0: Palm trees are blown around in the high winds from Hurricane Irma on September 10, 2017 in Miami, Florida.

Barbuda was the first.

Waves crash against the seafront boulevard El Malecon, in Havana, Cuba, ahead of the passing of Hurricane Irma.

- Andrew damaged or destroyed 126,000 single-family houses and ripped apart 9,000 mobile homes, according to the National Weather Service.

"This is a worst case scenario for Monroe County, the Florida Keys and the west coast of Florida", Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), told Fox News.

The storm blew in with such intensity that observers saw the water at the Naples pier rise by four feet in 30 minutes.

But privately, you may be wondering (and you wouldn't be alone): "What is a storm surge?"

More than 50,000 people expressed interest in the event on Facebook, and more than 27,000 noted that they were "attending". The storm damaged about 95% of the buildings on the island, said Gaston Browne, Prime Minister of the nation of Antigua and Barbuda.

The camera is located at the continental United States' southernmost point, and has been a magnet for photographers keen to see the churned-up sea.

Hurricane Irma, after making an unexpected turn to the north-northeast, continued its march up the state Sunday night, this time heading for central Florida.

The hurricane center says "although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning". "It's not really time to go outside yet".

  • Leroy Wright