Weather

Photo: Quincy Walters, WGCU

As southwest Florida begins to feel the impacts of Hurricane Irma, emergency mangers in Lee County say they have stopped responding to calls due to dangerous wind speeds. Law enforcement will also stop responding soon.

FPL is expecting more than 4 million accounts - a total of more than 9 million Florida residents - to experience power outages resulting from Hurricane Irma. Both FPL and LCEC are providing maps that allow customers to track outages in their area, and report any outages they experience.

Barbuda was the first. A Category 5 Hurricane Irma swept the island with its powerful 185 mile per hour winds. One person died. The prime minister said 95 percent of the buildings were destroyed after the storm passed.

On Wednesday, Irma made history: It became one of the most powerful recorded storm in the Atlantic Ocean. It bulldozed the U.S. Virgin Islands, ripping roofs off houses in St. Barts and flooding St. Martin. By the time the hurricane left St. Martin and St. Barts, 11 people died. 

Access to the Pinellas County barrier islands had already been restricted since Friday morning to residents, business owners and employees in advance of Hurricane Irma. 

Starting Sunday at 6 a.m., no one will be allowed in - even if they live there. 

Downed power lines, standing water, damaged buildings--hurricanes continue to be dangerous well after the last rain band has moved on.    

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