There is no doubt about it: Hurricane Irma is going to be one of the most serious weather storms in history. Now, the United States Navy has been forced to evacuate 5,000 personnel. They are currently fleeing from the destructive path of this Category 5 storm.
At the Navy Air Station Key West, families and personnel, along with civilian staff, are leaving the region immediately. Bill Dougherty, a Navy spokesman, noted that the U.S. Navy Region Southwest commander has ordered a “mandatory evacuation of non-essential personnel and dependents from NAS Key West to safe haven within 300 miles of Atlanta, Georgia.”
The storm, which has winds up to 185 miles-per-hour, is already becoming a disaster for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Now, it’s headed straight toward Florida’s 21 million residents. This Category 5 hurricane, which is larger than the state of Ohio, shows no signs of slowing down.
Department of Defense spokesman Maj. Ben Sakrisson noted, “Joint Task Force Guantanamo is closely monitoring the progress of Irma and is taking appropriate measures to ensure the safety of the detainees (at Guantanamo Bay in Cuba). Plans and procedures are in place to ensure for the safety of the detainees throughout this event.” Clearly, measures are swiftly being taken to protect the 41 detainees currently being held at Gitmo.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for all 67 Florida counties.
As Scott opined, “In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.”
President Donald Trump also declared states of emergency earlier this week as Irma approaches.
Irma has drawn comparisons to Hurricane Andrew, the Category 5 hurricane that devastated Florida in 1992. Underestimating the power of Irma could be devastating, and following the lead of the Navy, people should seek safety immediately.
This is a breaking news story. We will have more updates as they become available.