As of Monday, Hurricane Irma is still lashing through Florida but it is becoming gradually weaker. At first, it was a Category 4 storm but it is now a Category 1 storm with winds traveling at a speed of 75 mph. It could later be downgraded further into a tropical storm. The storm has brought hide tides in several places including Tampa and St. Petersburg. Irma will continue to stay in Florida for a few days before it heads to the nearby states. More than 320 shelters have been prepared for evacuees who don’t have places to go. These shelters are located outside the Florida Keys. When it reaches Georgia, the hurricane should have already weakened down to a tropical storm. Georgia can expect rainfall of up to 20 inches.
Hurricane Irma has swept through the U.S. Virgin Islands and caused a lot of damages there. Buildings have collapsed and many houses has been turned into piles of rubble by the storm wind. There are at least four deaths that have occurred on the St. Thomas as a result of the hurricane. St. Thomas is a vacation destination that has attracted a lot of tourists. And now, because of the storm, there is no more hotel as they are all damaged. It is going to take a few months for the crew to restore back the island back to the condition where tourists will want to come and take a vacation there.
The hurricane has caused difficult circumstances for the people on U.S. Virgin Islands and the residents there are asking for help from those on the mainland. The roof of Roy Schneider Medical Center has torn apart from the roof frame because of the hurricane. There is currently no electricity in the entire city and there is also no ferry service between the islands and the mainland. Some residents on the U.S. Virgin Islands told reporters to send out the message to the mainland to not forget them and send people to help them as they are also part of the USA.
The damages that Hurricane Irma cause may have an impact on the economy of Florida. When people know that Florida is vulnerable to a dangerous hurricane like Irma, they will no longer choose to take holiday in Florida. People would also move away and this can result in a drop in the population growth and subsequently affect the economy. Florida is a leading producer of citrus crops like sugarcane and watermelons. The farmers are working on draining all the excess water from the fields. They have also stored all the equipment in a secure place. The central and south Florida has the most number of citrus farms. The farmers want to make sure that they have done all they can to protect their farms from the hurricane.