The latest forecast has Hurricane Irma tracking closer to us. As of 5 a.m. this morning, it is a category 3 hurricane with winds up to 115 miles per hour.
According to the National Hurricane Center, a Category 3 storm means that “Devastating damage will occur: Well-built framed homes may incur major damage or removal of roof decking and gable ends. Many trees will be snapped or uprooted, blocking numerous roads. Electricity and water will be unavailable for several days to weeks after the storm passes.”
The last time St. John saw a significant hurricane was in 1995 when the eye of Hurricane Marilyn passed over St. Thomas. That storm, according to the National Hurricane Center, was a strong Category 2 storm with maximum winds of 95 knots or about 110 miles per hour. Hurricane Marilyn caused mass destruction.
As of this morning, the eye of the storm is still tracking north of us, which is good. But we are still going to receive damaging winds, a lot of rain and most likely storm surge. This storm is serious.
Here is when we can expect to see the impacts of Hurricane Irma:
And here is this morning’s key point from the National Hurricane Center:
Irma is expected to be a major hurricane when it moves closer to the Lesser Antilles over the next few days, producing rough surf and rip currents. Irma could also cause dangerous wind, storm surge, and rainfall impacts on some islands, although it is too soon to specify where and when those hazards could occur. Residents in the Lesser Antilles should monitor the progress of Irma through the weekend and listen to any advice given by local officials.
Here are a few items we posted yesterday that can help you prepare: