Floridians are worried that Hurricane Irma could be the nuclear bomb of hurricanes that they’ve worried about for decades, according to a report Friday from the Associated Press.
Irma is scheduled to make landfall in Florida Sunday morning, but citizens have been preparing for the thee Category 4 storm for more than a week. Citizens are telling reporters this storm could be bigger and more damaging than Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which caused widespread damage.
“It was very scary. We just had no idea how bad it was going to be,” said Rosi Ramirez, who lived through Andrew and is not taking any risks. She’s making tracks for South Carolina with her three children in-tow.
“I don’t want my kids to go through that traumatic experience. I hadn’t thought about Andrew in a while,” she said. “But now I am seeing some flashes of what we went through. It is all coming back.”
Forecasters have all but guaranteed the storm will run headlong into Florida, but there is still some uncertainty about which portion of the state will catch the blunt end of Irma. What is not in doubt thought is that hurricane-force winds could pound the entire Florida peninsula.
“Irma is likely to make landfall in Florida as a dangerous major hurricane, and will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state regardless of the exact track of the center,” the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said late Friday morning.
Irma could rival Andrew, among some of the largest hurricanes years of the last century, in its intensity and capacity for damage, hurricane specialist Bryan Norcross wrote on Facebook Friday.
“Few people alive have experienced a storm like this,” Norcross wrote. “It is reminiscent of the great hurricanes that unleashed their fury on Florida in the first seven decades of the 20th Century.”
Other Floridians hold a more fatalistic viewpoint about Irma. Craig Pittman, an environmental reporter at the Tampa Bay Times, for instance, told the AP that the mythic Big One is mostly a bunch of hot air. Citizens will continue to flock to Florida.
“We’re the state that’s constantly trying to kill us,” he said. “We’re the state with sinkholes, shark bites, alligators and lightning. And we get hit by hurricanes. Yet people keep flooding here day after day.”
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