Hurricane Irma makes second landfall in Florida and will roar up the state’s Gulf Coast
The fierce eye of Hurricane Irma made its second landfall in Florida on Sunday as the full intensity of the storm began battering the state’s Gulf Coast.
After days of alarming warnings forced millions from their homes and effectively shut down daily life across a wide swath of the Southeastern United States, Irma had earlier Sunday made landfall on the lower Florida Keys before beginning what forecasters say could be a painful journey up the state’s western coastline.
The storm breached the Florida coast on Sunday morning, making landfall just after 9 a.m. at Cudjoe Key. After churning through the Keys and on through to Florida’s southwestern coast, Irma’s second landfall occurred in Marco Island, Fla., at 3:35 p.m. A wind gust of 130 mph was reported by the Marco Island police, according to the National Weather Service.
Irma had already made its presence known across South Florida, causing more than two million power outages and lashing major population centers with driving rain and roof-rattling wind. The danger is only just beginning, forecasters warn, because the storm will grind along Florida’s Gulf Coast on Sunday bringing life-threatening storm surge.