Speed Reads

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma makes landfall in the Caribbean, threatening historic damage

The eye of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm packing sustained winds of up to 185 miles per hour, made landfall on the Caribbean island of Barbuda just before 2 a.m. on Wednesday, and heavy rains and hard winds slammed neighboring Antigua, where the government had warned people to prepare for an "onslaught," adding, "May God protect us all." Irma is the most powerful Atlantic hurricane ever recorded, The Associated Press says, fed by warm waters usually only found in the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is expected to remain a Category 5 or 4 hurricane over the next few days as it wreaks havoc on Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, and a string of smaller islands before hitting Florida on Sunday.

President Trump declared a state of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands on Tuesday. "The dangerousness of this event is like nothing we've ever seen," Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said Tuesday. "A lot of infrastructure won't be able to withstand this kind of force." Irma, expected to hit Puerto Rico on Wednesday, will be the biggest hurricane to hit Puerto Rico since deadly Hurricane San Felipe in 1928, the National Weather Service says, and Puerto Rico's power utility said the storm will leave some residents without electricity for a week or two, while others will be without power for four to six months. Here's how Irma looks from the International Space Station:

Irma is the ninth named storm of this hurricane season, following Harvey. And Jose is already crossing the Atlantic.