It’s just past 7pm and in our area of north-central Florida, the rain has settled in to moderate/heavy rates of 2 to 4 inches per hour in quick spurts. Since this morning when the first rain bands swirled in as Hurricane Irma passed through the Keys, we’ve gotten about 4 inches of rain. The east coast has been pounded all day with heavy surf, large amounts of rain, and at least 50 tornado warnings over the past nine hours. We haven’t had any severe weather yet, but that will change starting in a few hours.
The center of Irma is currently moving past Fort Myers headed north, so we are expecting wind gusts of 75 to 90mph likely between 2 and 7am Monday morning. The rain will stay heavy with additional accumulations of 6-12 inches. I don’t see any way we’ll keep power on through the height of the storm as Irma races by to our west. It won’t be until Monday night, 24 hours from now, that the winds will finally drop below tropical force. We won’t have flooding in our immediate area, although roads and retention ponds are likely to have minor overflows.
If we have power sometime on Monday, I’ll update as to any damage or significant impacts in our area. Southeast and Southwest Florida including the Keys, will have severe damage and some loss of life once daylight allows surveys.