Caribbean islands suffer Irma but will escape Jose
Before striking Florida Sunday, Hurricane Irma ripped through Cuba on Saturday, making the island's first direct hit by a Category 5 storm since 1932. The Cuban government evacuated more than 1 million people from low-lying areas, and flooding is expected to continue until Monday, including in Havana. Though Cuba is more prepared for extreme weather than some of its Caribbean neighbors, Irma left many houses in affected areas without their roofs and downed utility poles across the island.
Cuba and other Caribbean islands devastated by Irma, like Barbuda and Saint Martin, got welcome news Saturday night when Hurricane Jose, a Category 4 storm, veered away from their path and turned north into the Atlantic Ocean. Though Jose did produce some additional rainfall in the eastern islands, its change in course offered a major reprieve from additional anticipated destruction. Jose's future direction is currently unclear; it could stall out over the Atlantic, producing high surf but little serious threat on the Eastern Seaboard.