Cuba Devastation Foreshadows DISASTER For Florida


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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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Hurricane Irma all but destroyed parts of Cuba, a foreshadowing of the potential devastation headed for the state of Florida.

Irma uprooted trees, leveled homes and caused major infrastructure damage to the island nation of Cuba on Saturday. The storm pummeled the island with 125-mile-per-hour winds and caused the sea to rise roughly three feet. Cuban officials have shut off power to many parts of the nation and evacuated 10,000 people from Havana, the capital of Cuba.

The sea rose above the historic sea wall, moving two blocks inland. The flooding is only expected to get worse, and, as a result, many storefronts and restaurants have closed for the foreseeable future.

The more rural parts of the nation experienced far more dramatic damage. One bridge and dozens of homes across the coastal region of Cuba have collapsed. Irma left street lights bent, metal sheeting for roofs and other debris in the streets. While no deaths have been reported, the nation’s citizens are already lamenting the impact of the storm.

“This is a beautiful town but now it is a disaster,” a local resident of the coastal town of Villa Clara told Reuters. “We never had a storm wreak so much damage here. This is really a mess.”

“The trees in the park in front of my house are down and others were strewn all over the streets. Lots of roofs are gone and some houses collapsed. The river that runs through the city is about to flood,” another resident told reporters. “The wind roared all night and it is still strong. I couldn’t sleep. I’m scared of hurricanes and this is the worst I have been through.”

Irma made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning. The U.S. National Hurricane Center reported at 9:10 a.m. EST that Irma had hit the keys, with winds of 130-miles-per-hour. Florida Gov. Rick Scott gave an ominous message on the “Today Show,” saying simply “this is going to be horrible.”

The governor tweeted Sunday morning “Life-threatening storm surge is occurring now in the Keys and is expected to begin this morning in Southwest Florida.”

Around 500,000 people are reportedly without power Sunday morning.

Irma has already taken 22 lives in the Caribbean. Roughly 6.5 million people were ordered to evacuate and 77,000 people are seeking refuge in some 450 shelters across the state.

Florida officials are already warning that Irma could be worse than the 1992 Hurricane Andrew, which killed 61 people and caused in excess of $47 billion worth of damage.

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