Hurricane Irma: What’s Happened and What’s Next

Photo

Hurricane Irma threatened homes as it swept through the island of St. Martin on Wednesday. Credit Gerben Van Es/Dutch Department of Defense, via Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

Hurricane Irma made landfall this week in the Caribbean as one of the strongest Atlantic storms ever recorded.

Here is a guide to The New York Times’s coverage of the Category 5 storm as it sweeps toward Florida. For dispatches from journalists across the region, see our live briefing with up to the minute developments. For an overview, see this story.

The path of the storm

On Wednesday, Irma struck land for the first time, hitting the island of Barbuda with winds of up to 185 miles per hour.

It passed over St. Martin and Anguilla as it headed west, leaving a path of destruction, as seen in this vivid footage:

Video

Hurricane Irma Pummels Caribbean and Churns Toward Florida

The Atlantic’s strongest storm has left destruction across the Caribbean. Witnesses warn others to brace themselves as Irma moves toward Florida.

By CAMILLA SCHICK, ROBIN LINDSAY and CHRIS CIRILLO on Publish Date September 6, 2017. Photo by Hector Retamal/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images. Watch in Times Video »

Puerto Rico was largely unscathed, but most of its households lost power. The storm was expected to reach South Florida this weekend, according to our hurricane path tracker.

Hurricane Irma’s trajectory is by far the most important question facing forecasters right now, but its intensity is a concern as well. The Upshot explained how experts are gathering data on the storm’s strength.

Florida gets ready

With good forecasting, government officials can brace for the worst. We are covering the way Florida is preparing for evacuations, power losses and recovery efforts.

The state has a long history of hurricanes, as highlighted in this article about Hurricane Andrew, which struck in 1992. (One of our reporters wrote a gripping first-person account last year about what it was like to ride out that storm.)

But Irma’s destruction could be particularly devastating because there has been so much new development in Central and South Florida, as our analysis shows.

A bit of advice

Here are tips on how to prepare to evacuate your home, and how to pack an emergency kit.

And if you’re planning to travel somewhere in the path of the storm, here’s what you should do.

Keep an eye on the forecasts. More storms are forming in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, with hurricane watches in Antigua and Barbuda and in Mexico.

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