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    Jesse Ferrell

    Historic Hurricane Irma cut power to 20 million people

    By Jesse Ferrell, AccuWeather meteorologist
    9/11/2017, 6:40:24 PM

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    Hurricane Irma is winding down today after thrashing the Caribbean and Florida. It's been a wild two weeks for us all. Here are some statistics. I'll add to this in the upcoming days.

    • Nearly 8 million customers (~20 million people) lost power, the largest U.S. outage ever*
    • Of those, 6,500,000 customers (16 million people) were in Florida -- 75% of the state, according to the Washington Post
    • Over 7 million people were evacuated, the largest evacuation in U.S. history (Axios)
    • Over 50 people are dead (8 U.S., 10 Cuba, 38 Caribbean)
    • Untold numbers of people are without cellphone service -- many cell phone towers were downed
    • Winds gusted up to 142 mph in the U.S. and 153 mph in the Caribbean (see list below)
    • Rainfall totaled up to 15.91 inches at Fort Pierce, Florida
    • Irma set dozens of hurricane records, including most powerful Atlantic hurricane (tied #2 for highest winds)
    • On the heels of Hurricane Harvey, the two are the first Category 4 storms to hit the U.S. in one year in over 100 years
    • There may be 10,000 missing people in the Florida Keys who rode out the storm and need evacuation (AccuWeather.com)

    Hurricane Irma 72-Hour Precip 9/11

    *Multiply "customers" by 2.5 (census average) to get the number of people affected by power outages. The number of power outages is likely to go down in history as the biggest weather-related power outages in United States history. I blogged in 2008 that Hurricane Ike had caused 7.5 million power outages. There are reports tonight of over 1.2 million customers out in Georgia; that brings the total to 7.7 million. Other states should bring that total to over 8 million... and remember, these are not necessarily peak numbers.

    irma gusts

    The views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of AccuWeather, Inc. or AccuWeather.com


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    Jesse Ferrell