TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Two years ago this morning, Florida was bracing for what was set to be the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever.
Hurricane Irma arrived in the afternoon, and was a Category 4 when it hit Cudjoe Key on Sept. 10, 2017.
The storm plowed through south Florida before turning up the west coast of the state, ripping off roofs, flooding coastal cities, and knocking out power to more than 6.8 million people.
Irma originated from a tropical wave near the Cape Verde Islands on Aug. 27 and rapidly strengthened to a major hurricane shortly thereafter.
It became a powerful Category 5 hurricane as it swung over the Atlantic and moved over the Leeward Islands.
Irma weakened before making landfall in Cuba on Sept. 8. Dozens of people were known to have died in the Caribbean as a result of the storm.
Irma struck Florida twice, making landfall at Cudjoe Key as a Category 4 storm, and on Marco Island as a Category 3.
The hurricane weakened significantly and was downgraded to a tropical storm as it rolled across northern Florida and into Georgia on Sept. 11.
Hurricane Irma was attributed to approximately 134 deaths, 92 in the contiguous United States.
Some of the casualties were 12 patients at a nursing home in Hollywood, Florida who died from heat-related causes in the days after Irma hit the area.
Irma had total costs of $50 billion, making it one of the most expensive storms in Florida history and the fifth most costly storm in the U.S.
- Florida GOP congressman weighing impeachment announces retirement
- GRAPHIC: Iowa man finds 5 inches of animal blood flooding basement
- Deputies searching for missing, endangered man in Manatee County
- VIDEO: Hurricane Hunters capture stunning images inside Tropical Storm Nestor
- WATCH: Coach disarms school gunman with a hug