Hurricane Irma makes second landfall in Florida, batters Naples

Marco Island (Florida) [U.S.A.]: The center of Hurricane Irma has made a landfall in the Marco Island, near Naples, in southwest Florida as a Category 3 hurricane.

The Marco Island Police Department reported a 130 mph wind gust .

The Naples Municipal Airport also reported a gust of 142 mph, near reports of 135mph gust and sustained winds of 93mph – the most powerful recorded gusts on the mainland.

This is the second landfall in Florida. Irma hit Cudjoe Key earlier in the day as a Category 4 storm.

That city and nearby Naples, Florida, will endure some of the strongest winds in the next few hours, the National Hurricane Center said, adding that the “storm surges that threaten to swallow Florida’s coastal cities” could be more dangerous than the winds.

The National Weather Service had earlier issued a flash flood emergency for the Marco Island, Naples and other regions in southwest Florida.

Moreover, a crane has been reported to have partially collapsed at a construction site on NE 31st Street. This is the second construction crane to collapse in the city.

Earlier, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, Hurricane Irma was downgraded to Category 3, the National Weather Service said.

“There is imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida west coast, including the Florida Keys, where a storm surge warning is in effect,” CNN quoted the hurricane center.

“The threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected. This is a life-threatening situation.”

Category-4 Hurricane Irma began its assault on Florida, the south-easternmost U.S. state earlier on Sunday, with the storm’s northern eyewall reaching the lower Florida Keys on Sunday after making landfall in Cuba.

More than 560,000 residents across 19 counties in south and central Florida are without power, according to Florida Power and Light Department.

Irma lashed the area with forceful winds near 130 miles per hour and the U.S. National Hurricane Centre said it was expected to remain a powerful storm as it moved through the Florida Keys and near the state’s west coast, CNN reported.

Keeping an eye on Irma, South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster has issued a mandatory evacuation for some barrier islands, while Georgia Governor Nathan Deal expanded a state of emergency to include 94 counties.

As many as 5.6 million people were evacuated from Florida on Friday to deal with the life-threatening Hurricane Irma.

A few records that Irma has broken are:

– Irma is the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea

-It spent three days as a Category 5 hurricane, the longest Category 5 hurricane since satellite storm-tracking began

-It prompted the largest evacuation in the history of the Bahamas (ANI)