It was this week in 2017 when Hurricane Irma broadsided parts of Florida, then churned north across the peninsula, leaving a massive amount of damage and destruction in its wake, to say the least.
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The powerful storm pummeled the Keys and led to the worst flooding in Jacksonville’s 250-year history -- and that was just in the Sunshine State alone. Irma hit Antigua, Barbuda, the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Cuba, just to name some of the islands and surrounding areas that also sustained extensive damage.
Irma was considered a Category 4 hurricane when it slammed into Cudjoe Key, Florida, on Sept. 10, 2017. Shortly after the storm passed through, the Federal Emergency Management Agency reported that 25 percent of all the homes in the Keys were destroyed, and 65 percent suffered major damage.
In the Jacksonville area, Irma’s position and the flow of the St. Johns River combined to spell out disaster. Some neighborhoods were underwater for weeks following the storm.
At one point, Hurricane Irma was the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic -- outside of the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico -- by the National Hurricane Center, according to NPR. It remains one of the strongest hurricanes on record in the Atlantic Basin, and it made landfall seven times.
Forty-four people in the Caribbean and United States died as a direct result of Irma, published reports indicate.
Irma was costly, as well. The storm was the fifth-costliest hurricane to hit the mainland U.S., causing about $50 billion in damage, according to the NHC.
Graham Media Group 2018