With all the turmoil that is currently engulfing Floridians who are trying to escape the impending destruction of Hurricane Irma, we have now confirmed after getting multiple reports, that terminal J at Miami International Airport was in fact evacuated Thursday night following an officer-involved shooting.
Although original reports had stated that a man with a gun was apprehended at the airport terminal, authorities have now confirmed that a gun incident was never the case, but instead, it was a man wielding a large knife who was shot by police. The shooting happened around 8:45 pm local standard time.
In an area where only one plane was scheduled for departure during the evening. That flight was delayed and those in the area were evacuated out of the plane and the terminal. A police official said it was unclear whether the unidentified man went through a TSA checkpoint, but managed to breach the restricted area and make his way onto the tarmac. Makes you wonder just how effective the TSA really is.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott Thursday strongly urged Floridians to evacuate as the record-breaking storm with it’s 185 plus mile per hour winds hit the state after leaving a path of destruction and death throughout the Caribbean Islands. He continued by ordering the mandatory evacuations of the Florida Keys along with, Broward and Miami-Dade counties. Maimi-Dade is the county where the affected airport is located.
Earlier this week, Brock Long, the director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, sent a surprise package to meteorologists at the National Hurricane Center in Miami. It contained enough water bottles and enough MREs (meals-ready-to-eat) to last 10 days.
“Being an ex-marine, I can tell you, those MREs will taste pretty good soon,” said Dennis Staley, the chief of operations for the National Centers for Environmental Prediction.
The meals will join a stash of other food—potato chips, coffee, chocolate—that meteorologists will rely on as they hunker down for days at the National Hurricane Center, which is in line to be slammed by the very storm they’re predicting. Over the last several days, some of the world’s top tropical meteorologists have assigned cats to close friends, made sure friends are evacuating, and put their families on planes.
Now, they will take shelter in the National Hurricane Center’s downtown headquarters, monitoring observations from across the Gulf of Mexico and issuing forecast advisories on the major storm. The center’s headquarters—a hardened concrete structure, with corrugated shutters for the doors and windows—was designed to withstand 185-mile-per-hour winds and a 15-foot storm surge.
Whether it will actually endure a storm of that size and violence isn’t clear. As of Friday morning, Hurricane Irma, one of the strongest hurricanes ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean, was predicted to tear through South Florida and up the center of the state. If forecasts hold, it could be the most ferocious storm seen in Florida since Hurricane Andrew cut east-to-west across its peninsula a quarter-century ago.
“Irma has me sick to my stomach.”
Though the storm was downgraded to Category 4 overnight, with maximum wind speeds of 155 miles per hour, the National Hurricane Center warns that it remains extremely dangerous. The National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for nearly all of South Florida, from Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach. It has also announced a storm-surge warning for southern Florida and the Florida Keys, warning of “a danger of life-threatening inundation.”
“Irma has me sick to my stomach,” said Eric Blake, a scientist with the National Hurricane Center, on his personal Twitter account on Thursday evening. “This hurricane is as serious as any I have seen. No hype, just the hard facts. Take every lifesaving precaution you can.”
“I have little doubt Irma will go down as one of the most infamous in Atlantic hurricane history,” he added.
“Hurricane Irma is of epic proportion, perhaps bigger than we have ever seen. Be safe and get out of its way, if possible,” said President Donald Trump on Twitter Friday morning. He said that the federal government and the Coast Guard were ready to help victims.
As of Friday morning, Irma’s death toll stands at 19. The storm leaves a path of devastation across the Caribbean. On Thursday night, the storm made landfall on St. Martin, a tiny island of 74,000 people, popular with European tourists. Daniel Gibbs, the president of the French territory of the island of Saint Martin, estimated that 95 percent of his country had been obliterated.
“There are shipwrecks everywhere, destroyed houses everywhere, torn-off roofs everywhere,” he told Radio Caraïbes International, as translated by The New York Times. “It’s just unbelievable. It’s indescribable.”
The path could bring catastrophic storm-surge effects to Biscaine Bay.
Witnesses described similar scenes on the island’s Dutch half. “It’s like someone with a lawn mower from the sky has gone over the island,”said Marilou Rohan, a European tourist visiting Sint Maarten, part of the Netherlands.
Officials also described outright devastation on the tiny island of Barbuda, which the storm directly hit earlier in the week. The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda said the vast majority of that island’s housing had been destroyed. “Barbuda right now is literally a rubble,” he said. Another storm—Hurricane Jose, which strengthened to Category 3 on Thursday—could strike the island within days.
And though Puerto Rico was spared a direct encounter with Irma’s massive center, about 60 percent of its households were left without power from high winds. 50,000 people are without water on the island, according to the government.
Hurricane Irma now continues on its northwest track.
“The eye of Irma should continue to move westward away from the Turks and Caicos Islands and toward the southeastern Bahamas this morning,” said the National Hurricane Center. “The core of the hurricane will then move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas during the next day or two, and be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida peninsula Sunday morning.”
A 20-foot storm surge is expected in some parts of the Bahamas, and tourists have been evacuated from Cuba’s northern coast. The government of the Bahamas also closed the country’s main international airport on Nassau.
By Sunday morning, hurricane conditions will have set in across much of South Florida. The National Hurricane Center’s forecast put the storm on a path for the southern tip of the Florida peninsula, sending its eye up the eastern Everglades and the western half of Miami-Dade County. Such a path could bring catastrophic storm-surge effects to Biscaine Bay while whipping both Florida’s east and west coasts with powerful winds. The storm was forecast to make landfall as a Category 4 storm with 150 mile-per-hour sustained winds.
Irma is the first storm ever observed to sustain winds of 185 miles per hour for longer than 24 hours.
Any aggravated storm surge in Miami could be catastrophic. More than four-fifths of Miami-Dade County is 10 or fewer feet above sea level, and almost all of the county would flood in a Category 5 storm.
But effects will be felt across the state. As of Friday morning, the National Weather Service said chances were better than 90 percent that sustained tropical-storm-force winds, defined as greater than 39 miles per hour, would blow across a vast swath of the peninsula: from Miami to Orlando, Fort Myers to West Palm Beach.
Tens of thousands of Floridians have already heeded orders to evacuate, backing up Interstate 95 to the Georgia line. About half of the gas stations in Miami had closed.
Yet there are some signs that evacuation orders will be ignored—or simply haven’t reached some Floridians yet. The Miami Herald has found mobile-home parks where half of the residents are planning on riding out the storm. Thousands of Miami residents are too poor to be able to afford the high gas costs of evacuating.
No matter what future devastation it may cause, Irma has already broken global hurricane records. It is the first storm ever observed, in any ocean, to sustain winds of 185 miles per hour for longer than 24 hours. And it helped make Thursday the most energetic day for hurricanes on record in the Atlantic. Two other cyclones, Jose and Katia, are churning through the Atlantic basin.
Irma’s effects can already be felt far from Florida. Hotels in Atlanta were sold out of space. And a team of meteorologists—including experts from Florida and the continental United States, and two from Hawaii—have flown into the Washington, D.C., area to staff an emergency backup National Hurricane Center. If the one in Miami loses contact with the world during the storm, a backup center in College Park, Maryland, will leap into action—forecasting a storm affecting their colleagues to the south.
Forecasts have warned Irma could make landfall by Sunday morning. The mayor of Miami-Dade, Carlos Gimenez, has announced evacuation orders for downtown Miami and other parts of the city, Along with southern parts of the county. The expanded evacuation area also includes Homestead, Coral Gables, South Miami, Miami Shores and North Miami Beach.
Please share and pray for Florida and everyone in this awful hurricane’s path….