As Hurricane Irma continues its trek through the Caribbean, Floridians prepare for storm’s uncertain landfall.
UPDATE 7 a.m. ET: Hurricane Irma dominates the front pages of Florida Wednesday newspapers from Miami to Pensacola.
UPDATE 12 a.m. ET Wednesday: According to a report, the Key West International Airport will be forced to close due to the TSA’s decision not to staff security checkpoints. Key West Mayor Craig Cates called the decision “very disappointing.”
UPDATE 11:30 p.m. ET: The National Hurricane Center’s 11 p.m. advisory has the storm located at 17.4°N 61.1°W, moving west at 15 mph, 50 miles east of Antigua.
Hurricane Irma made landfall Wednesday, forcing Caribbean residents to shelter indoors as they faced power outages, battled 185 mph winds and braced for 11-foot waves from the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history.
At the far northeastern edge of the Caribbean, authorities on the Leeward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda cut power and urged residents to shelter indoors as they braced for Category 5 Hurricane Irma's first contact with land.
Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma's "onslaught" in a statement that closed with: "May God protect us all."
The National Weather Service said the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m. Residents told local radio stations phone lines went down as the eye passed.
In Florida, people also stocked up on drinking water and other supplies.
Gov. Rick Scott activated 100 members of the Florida National Guard to be deployed across the state, and 7,000 National Guard members were to report for duty Friday when the storm could be approaching the area. On Monday, Scott declared a state of emergency in all of Florida's 67 counties.
Mayor Carlos Gimenez said the voluntary evacuations could begin as soon as Wednesday evening. He activated the emergency operation center and urged residents to have three days' worth of food and water.
On the 108-square-mile-island of Antigua, people who live in low-lying areas were staying with friends and relatives on higher ground or sleeping in churches, schools and community facilities built to withstand hurricanes. None of the shelters have yet been tested by Category 5 winds, however.
Many homes in Antigua and Barbuda are not built on concrete foundations or have poorly constructed wooden roofs that are susceptible to wind damage. Other islands in the path of the storm included the Virgin Islands and Anguilla, a small, low-lying territory of about 15,000 people.
U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp signed an emergency order allowing the seizure of private guns, ammunition, explosives and property the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma.
Mapp signed the order Monday in preparation for Hurricane Irma. The order allows the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to seize private property they believe necessary to protect the islands, subject to approval by the territory’s Justice Department.
Mapp issued an emergency declaration Tuesday and mobilized National Guard units to prepare for the massive storm.
“This is not an opportunity to go outside and try to have fun with a hurricane,” Mapp said. “It’s not time to get on a surfboard.”
Irma strengthened to a Category 5 storm Tuesday, with wind gusts hitting 175 miles an hour. Irma’s eye is expected to pass just north of the heart of the U.S. Virgin Islands on Wednesday and bring four to eight inches or rain and 60-mile-per-hour wind gusts.
May God protect us all: Irma becomes most powerful hurricane ever recorded in Atlantic videos and pictures
At the far north-eastern edge of the Caribbean, authorities on the Leeward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda cut power and urged residents to shelter indoors as they braced for Hurricane Irma’s first contact with land early on Wednesday.
Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma’s “onslaught” in a statement that closed with: “May God protect us all.”
The category 5 storm had maximum sustained winds of 185mph (295kph) by early Tuesday evening, according to the US National Hurricane Center.
Category 5 hurricanes are rare and are capable of inflicting life-threatening winds, storm surges and rainfall. Hurricane Harvey, which last week devastated Houston, was category 4.
A resident from Antigua says: “I hear it’s a Cat 5 now and I’m terrified. I had to come back for more batteries because I don’t know how long the current will be off.”
Why is Irma so powerful?
Warm water is fuel for hurricanes and Irma is over water that is one degree celsius (1.8F) warmer than normal. The 26C (79F) water that hurricanes need goes about 250 feet deep (80m).
Four other storms have had winds as strong in the overall Atlantic region but they were in the Caribbean Sea or the Gulf of Mexico -where the water is usually wamer. Hurricane Allen hit 190mph in 1980, while 2005’s Wilma, 1988’s Gilbert and a 1935 great Florida Key storm all had 185mph winds.
The storm’s eye was expected to pass about 50 miles (80km) from Puerto Rico late on Wednesday. Hurricane-force winds extended outward up to 60 miles (95km) from Irma’s centre and tropical storm-force winds extended outward up to 175 miles (280km).
More than 100 aftershocks have rattled southeastern Idaho since a 5.3 magnitude quake hit near the town of Soda Springs late last week, and experts say they could continue for another week or so.
The 5.3 quake hit was the second in the series, and it hit about 6 p.m. Saturday. There were no reports of injuries or damage, though officials say 17,000 people reported feeling the 5.3 quake from as far away as Salt Lake City, Utah.
Soda Springs resident JoAnna Ashley was in nearby Georgetown visiting her parents when the biggest earthquake hit. She grabbed onto the shaking refrigerator and watched as a bottle of tiki torch fuel perched on top wobbled toward the edge. Her kids, ages 5 and 8, grabbed onto Ashley during the shaking.
"They didn't scream, but were all, 'Momma, what's happening?' in that worried voice," Ashley said.
The EU's top court has ruled that the union's migrant relocation quotas were legal, dismissing a challenge by Hungary and Slovakia.
The European Court of Justice (ECJ) said on Wednesday (6 September) that an EU Council decision in September 2015 that imposed the quota system was valid.
EU interior ministers at the time voted to share 120,000 asylum seekers from frontline states Greece and Italy.
They were to be distributed according to Commission calculations based on member states' size and wealth, with Hungary obliged to take 1,294 people and Slovakia to take 902.
The Czech Republic, Hungary, Romania, and Slovakia voted against the scheme. Poland later joined the rebels after a change of government in Warsaw.
Hungary and Slovakia also launched legal action at the ECJ in December 2015.
They said the interior ministers' vote was contrary to an earlier EU summit commitment.
They also said that the Council should have tabled a new proposal after Hungary had boycotted an initial one and that the European Parliament should have been consulted.
Some diplomats from the rebel EU countries still refer to the quota vote as an "original sin" that broke trust between the Commission and eastern and central European governments.
The Slovak prime minister, Robert Fico, called the migrant quota system "politically dead" last year.
Wednesday's court decision is likely to aggravate an already difficult debate.
Leading EU countries, including France and Germany, have accused the quota rebels of showing lack of EU solidarity.
But right-wing governments in Hungary and Poland have accused the EU of violating their sovereignty and of creating a terrorist risk by trying to force them to take in Muslims.
The Commission launched legal action against Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia in June for their boycott of the quota scheme.
Those cases could also end up in the ECJ, leading to potential fines, with Wednesday's court verdict stregthening the Commission's hand.
The Syrian government forces have "dealt a blow" to Daesh (ISIS, banned in Russia) terrorists in Syria's center and east with the victory in Deir ez-Zor being the most important success of the army assisted by Russian warplanes, the Russian Defense Ministry said, commenting on military operations in Syria over the past two weeks.
The Russian Defense Ministry said on Wednesday that the Syrian army assisted by Russian military aviation has dealt a blow to Daesh terrorist group in the center and east of the war-torn country.
"Over the past two weeks, the Syrian government troops with the support of the Russian Aerospace Forces have achieved important advances and dealt a decisive blow to Daesh terrorists in Syria's east and center," the chief of the Main Operational Directorate of the Russian General Staff, Col. Gen. Sergei Rudskoy, said.
He said that the the lifting of Deir ez-Zor's siege by the Syrian government forces is the most important victory of Damascus.
A petition to declare socialist billionaire George Soros a terrorist has garnered enough signatures to get an official response from the White House. The petition, which needed only 100,000 signatures by September 19, had almost 137,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning.
The White House.gov petition created by “E.B.” states that Soros assets should be seized by the government as per RICO and NDAA laws.
Whereas George Soros has willfully and on an ongoing basis attempted to destabilize and otherwise commit acts of sedition against the United States and its citizens, has created and funded dozens (and probably hundreds) of discrete organizations whose sole purpose is to apply Alinsky model terrorist tactics to facilitate the collapse of the systems and Constitutional government of the United State, and has developed unhealthy and undue influence over the entire Democrat Party and a large portion of the US Federal government, the DOJ should immediately declare George Soros and all of his organizations and staff members to be domestic terrorists, and have all of his personal an organizational wealth and assets seized under Civil Asset Forfeiture law. –WhiteHouse.gov petition
Soros donated millions of dollars to Hillary Clinton’s failed presidential campaign and he’s been known to be the main financier behind violent uprisings of leftist groups in the recent past. And this isn’t the first petition created by citizens asking for Soros to be punished by the government for his continued financial support of the government.
Back in February, people signed a petition demanding an international warrant be issued for the arrest of George Soros for his continued funding of violent civil unrest in the United States.
Soros may be terrorist, but don’t expect the government he pays to make him rich to actually do anything at all about the billionaire.
The White House has not yet responded to this petition and it is unclear if they will do so.
The Rutherford Institute :: What Country Is This? Forced Blood Draws, Cavity Searches and Colonoscopies
“The Fourth Amendment was designed to stand between us and arbitrary governmental authority. For all practical purposes, that shield has been shattered, leaving our liberty and personal integrity subject to the whim of every cop on the beat, trooper on the highway and jail official.”—Herman Schwartz, The Nation
Our freedoms—especially the Fourth Amendment—are being choked out by a prevailing view among government bureaucrats that they have the right to search, seize, strip, scan, shoot, spy on, probe, pat down, taser, and arrest any individual at any time and for the slightest provocation.
Forced cavity searches, forced colonoscopies, forced blood draws, forced breath-alcohol tests, forced DNA extractions, forced eye scans, forced inclusion in biometric databases: these are just a few ways in which Americans are being forced to accept that we have no control over our bodies, our lives and our property, especially when it comes to interactions with the government.
Worse, on a daily basis, Americans are being made to relinquish the most intimate details of who we are—our biological makeup, our genetic blueprints, and our biometrics (facial characteristics and structure, fingerprints, iris scans, etc.)—in order to clear the nearly insurmountable hurdle that increasingly defines life in the United States: we are now guilty until proven innocent.
This is an entirely random thought and not meant to be blasphemous or flippant. I know there are many folks in danger from this hurricane. But does it seem with all that is going on in the world with volcanoes, earthquakes, hurricanes, etc that the earth is just as desperate in it's longing for Christ to return? It was a strange thought that came to mind today. I remember in my childhood how rare it was to hear of weather incidents. Now it is daily that something big is happening somewhere. I know there is a verse in the Bible that talks about all creation "groaning." It just seems too coincidental the ratcheting up of weather - they have always been around, but they seem to be getting worse and more frequent... like birth pangs.
Okay, random thought for today is done. Prayers are going up for those in the path of danger from Irma and prayers going up for those dealing with the aftermath of Harvey.
I think a lot of people having same questions. The uncontrolled fires in the west. The quakes around Yellowstone and now utah. All seem to be increasing. Very strange
Have to agree with Heather when I was growing up in the 70s extreme weather was rarely herd of I have sat on the fence with this but iam slowly coming to the thought maybe its all to much of a coincident!!
I was talking to my wife about the birth pangs last night, I think most are thinking the same, while the media and left try their hardest to devide these disasters will just bring people closer together, I suppose that's one positive. Politics is a complete head scatcher for me these days i can't keep up. I had a random thought a couple of weeks back about jesus separating the goats on the left and the sheep on the right, is that also a coincidence that the left tend to be anti judeo christian. I thank God that through all that is happening upon the earth it serves to help us witness to those who are not as discerning as one who is familiar with scripture and prophecy. I love my Lord and saviour beyond description, I thank him for revealing all this truth to me and giving me the holy ghost to receive it and believe it. I pray many will wake up with these disasters and realise we are nothing but a spec In need of a savior.
Was watching videos and interviews from the islands hit by Irma. The destruction is beyond anything I have ever seen from a hurricane. Besides the major flooding, the damage actually looked more like F4/F5 tornado damage. My heart breaks for the folks who have lost everything, but I am praying that it is events like these that will turn folks to God before it is too late.
Scott, I had forgotten about the wildfires in that list too. Goodness. Every day seems to be exploding with news. Like Dee said, I can barely keep up. I feel we are so close, but I also realize that what we are seeing right now is absolutely nothing in comparison to what judgement is coming in the tribulation. I thank God that he will save us from that time, but I pray for those who are holding out on giving their lives to God. The destruction coming will make Irma look like a cake-walk. My heart breaks for the sorrow of those who live through that time.
Please folks. The truth is out there. God's word, the Bible, is very clear: Repent, for the kingdom of God is at hand! Please give your lives over to Jesus Christ and accept his FREE gift of salvation before it is too late. I thank the Lord that he wanted me as his child though I am a terrible sinner. His love is greater than anything you can find in this world. And as the folks in the path of Irma just learned: the earthly possessions are fleeting and easily destroyed. We brought nothing into this life and we leave with nothing - only one choice is eternally important:
Have you chosen to be on God's side or are you fighting for the other team?
Prayers going up each day. Maranatha: Come, Lord Jesus, Come!
Heather you are not the only terrible sinner. I certainly qualify, but it's Jesus who makes me worthy makes all of us worthy if we trust in him. Scott I live in salt lake city and haven't experienced the earthquakes but the smoke from the wild fires is certainly in the air and visible as well.
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