South Florida after Irma: Bringing Back the Light

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Sunrise, Atlantic ocean, FL

The monstrous hurricane dubbed Irma, captured all of Florida in a mighty show of strength. Once one of the strongest storms in history to come out of the Atlantic, Irma’s sheer size and unfathomable power gained the attention of every Floridian, and millions of world-wide residents.

The hurricane which battered Barbuda and tropical, idyllic islands, ripped along the northern areas of Cuba, and blasted the vulnerable Florida Keys, geared up to strike the Florida peninsula.

Irma made a rare move to land on the western coast, causing the largest evacuation in the state’s, and likely the country’s, history. Weather forecasters painted dim portraits of what was to be seen throughout Florida as Irma’s wrath was unleashed.

U.S., state, and local officials remained steadfast in efforts to inform residents of dangers associated with the storm. There were no qualms about the extreme measures taken to protect human life and safeguard the sunshine state.

When the hurricane struck Marco Island, on Florida’s west coast, the storm raged, dumping horizontal rain in sheets coupled with swirling, howling whips of wind. But signs of disorganization began to plague the once mighty system. And the storm which seemed unstoppable, was downgraded to a category 1.

Even with the unraveling, Irma sent sea levels down, then up, then (in some cases) back down again with fluctuating storm surge. During the highs, streets in places such as Miami saw roadways with white-capped waves, and seawalls were breached to turn avenues into flowing rivers.

Tampa and central Florida were inundated with water and wind in the overnight hours of Sunday into Monday as an estimated 4 million homes and businesses awoke to darkness without power.

Authorities from the President, to the Governor, and virtually every local government have pledged to work expeditiously to restore power. Florida Power & Light has pre-positioned a record number of crews to begin the process of connecting power to homes and businesses across the state.

As Floridians statewide assess property and resolve to gain back their state, we at South Florida News 11 want to remind you that the true test of strength will not be seen in the damage recorded, or losses reported. The power of Irma’s impact will not be allowed to overshadow the power of Florida’s people, working hand-in-hand to protect each other.

This storm’s destruction will not define this resilient oasis; it will be a challenge, but the sunshine state will once again shine as a beacon of light for the nation and the world to see. We’re proud of you, Florida! As we begin to rebuild, you can count on us to deliver up-to-date reports and accurate stories of hope as we all work together to bring back the light.

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