Panic in Florida

News 8 September, 2017
  • Photo AFP

    Matthew Payen

    Thursday, September 7, 2017 23:22

    Thursday, September 7, 2017 23:22

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    The Floridiens fled the country by all the means their State will be hit as early as Saturday by hurricane Irma, was announced as destructive.

    “We try to save our skin,” says Louise Gaudreault, who left Wednesday her home in Lake Park near West Palm Beach.

    Seeing the damage images of Irma in the west Indies, Quebec has not hesitated to take to the road with her husband. The couple first headed to Orlando to the north.

    “It was hell on the road, everyone flees. It was bumper to bumper on interstate 95, during 5: 30, while it takes us 2: 30 a.m. usual to make this journey, ” said Ms. Gaudreault.

    Thousands of Florida residents are heading to the north, alerted by the media announcing an unprecedented disaster.

    Evacuations and shortage

    The hurricane is ” going to be really destructive “, warned Thursday on CNN Brock Long, the head of the u.s. agency for emergency situations. The eye of the hurricane and its winds of nearly 300 km/h are expected to affect south Florida as early as Saturday [tomorrow].


    Photo AFP

    A continuous line of motorists fleeing to the north to escape the hurricane was visible at the level of the island village of Islamorada, on the highway Overseas Highway that connects the islands of the archipelago Keys to the rest of the Florida

    In Miami, most of the shops have barricaded their doors, and the army criss-crossed the streets of the city centre.

    Miami Beach

    Photo AFP

    es workers barricadaient the entrances to the restaurant and Mango club Miami Beach, in anticipation of the passage of Irma, expected tomorrow in Florida.

    On Thursday, the mayor of Miami-Dade county, Carlos Gimenez, has ordered the evacuation of 650,000 people, have reported several local media. A little later, the States of Georgia and South Carolina have, in turn, gave the order to evacuate the coastal areas, on the side of the cities of Savannah and Charleston. At the end of the day, 31,000 people had already left the archipelago of the Keys.

    In total, more than one million people are affected by these preventive measures.

    Mrs. Gaudreault has realized that a wind of panic had taken over the Florida. Arrival in Orlando, she has had a hard time getting the tank full of petrol. “The first station was empty, not a drop. Fortunately, we found one that was still. It was filled in a container of 16 litres just in case “, she said.


    Photo AFP

    The service station Costco of Miami was taken by storm yesterday by queues of motorists fleeing Florida to escape with Irma. Some filled cans of gasoline (photo above) in anticipation of the long road that awaited them.

    Flights are rare and expensive

    Unfortunately for the couple from quebec, Orlando is not the end of their journey. “It was thought to be there in safety for at least two nights, but here we can see that the hurricane advance right on top of us,” she said. Then, it is gone this morning [Thursday] to Atlanta, and it is not known if this will be enough. “

    “It is the totality of the south-east of the United States who should evacuate and be careful,” insists Mr. Long.

    As time passes, the mass evacuation is complicated, and not only on the road. “My husband and I leave tomorrow [Friday],” said Denise Dumont, the editor-in-chief of the Florida Sun. It has not been easy to find a flight because everything is full. “

    Impossible to go to a destination of the East coast, and even to the west, Ms. Dumont noted that there were no more tickets to over 2000 $ available from Miami, Fort Lauderdale or West Palm Beach. Finally, she found tickets to Colorado from Tampa Bay.

    A never-before-seen

    The journalist is said to have covered several hurricanes over the years, but nothing comparable with Irma. “It is a monster that is 400 miles [650 km] wide. The State in full will taste it, ” she says.

    Florida has already ordered the evacuation of mobile homes, in which many Quebecers live. “It is a never-before-seen,” said Ms. Dumont. During hurricane Matthew, the last year, the evacuation was only recommended. “

    Before leaving, the Quebecer has returned to his outdoor furniture, pulled down its shutters, anti-typhoon, sealed its doors, shut off the water and electricity. “We hope that the winds do arracheront not the whole house,” she said.

    For the moment, Ms. Dumont has spent a week in the shelter before returning. “But if the storm ravages all, it is perhaps not worth going back too quickly. “

    Photo AFP



    Wednesday, 2 p.m.

    Photo AFP


    ► The archipelago consists of two islands, Antigua in the south (80 000 inhabitants) and Barbuda in the north (1600 inhabitants). This last one has been completely devastated by the hurricane Irma and nearly half of its inhabitants are now homeless.

    ► A child’s death to Barbuda and fifty others were injured, according to what was said by the prime minister Gaston Browne of the Associated Press.

    ► The archipelago is endowed with beautiful beaches among the most beautiful of the Caribbean.

    Saint-Martin / Saint-Barthélemy

    Wednesday, 8 p.m.

    Photo AFP


    ► 95 % of the buildings were damaged in the French part of Saint Martin.

    ► The two islands are popular tourist destinations of many celebrities in the world. Saint-Martin, it is the Dutch part in the south, which concentrates the majority of the tourism with 2.5 million visitors in 2014, representing 96% of all arrivals on the island.

    ► The cellular network has been fully restored Wednesday to 14 h in Saint-Martin, but the networks of fixed-line telephones and the internet could be longer to repair.

    British Virgin islands

    Wednesday 14 h

    ► These territories belong to the United Kingdom, as the island Anguilla and the islands Turks-and-Caicos islands (touched last night), have all suffered the full force of the hurricane Irma.

    ► Nearly 88 000 british citizens resident on these islands.

    Dominican republic

    Thursday 8:

    Photo AFP


    ► It is a country of 10,65 million inhabitants.

    ► The dominican Republic occupies two-thirds of the island of Hispaniola and Haiti in the last third.

    ► This is one of the most popular destinations in Quebec with Cuba on their travel in the Caribbean, according to CAA-Quebec.


    Thursday, 20 h

    Photo AFP


    ► The very poor country of 10.8 million inhabitants, is particularly sensitive to natural disasters.

    ► Hurricane Irma is spent more in the north of the island, but heavy rainfall have caused flooding and trees have been uprooted by the wind.

    ► The country is still recovering from hurricane Matthew, who had made 500 people dead and 175 000 people homeless in October 2016.


    Friday, 2 p.m.

    ► The archipelago is composed of hundreds of islands and islets, the majority of which is not inhabited. More than half of the 391 000 inhabitants of the country are concentrated on the central island, New Providence, where is situated the capital, Nassau.

    Several of the islands of the Bahamas amounted to less than three meters above the sea, but Irma could raise the water level to six meters, said a meteorologist at CNN.


    Friday 20 h

    ► The largest island in the Caribbean account 11,48 million inhabitants.

    ► About 10, 000 tourists have been put away in the interior, and nearly 60 % of them are Canadians.


    Saturday 8:

    ► The latest forecast from the national hurricane Center of the United States provide that Irma could hit the city of Miami in the day on Saturday. Nearly 2.7 million people reside in this vicinity.

    ► Already 750,000 people have been called to evacuated, including the inhabitants of the islands, Keys, located off the coast of Florida. To the north, on the coast of the State of Georgia, 500 000 people were ordered to leave their home.

    ► The last hurricane of category 5 hitting Florida, Andrew in 1992 killed 65 people and did damage estimated at 26 billion u.s. dollars.

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