Are you watching Hurricane Irma, do you have friends or relatives in its path?
Hurricane Irma is one of the strongest hurricanes ever measured in the Atlantic Ocean. It is battering the west coast of Florida right now after it left a path of devastation across the Caribbean earlier this week.
More from this episode:
- Former Tortola resident pleads for help from Canada after island is hit by Irma
- Medical student escapes from Hurricane Irma
- Hemingway Museum staff sticking it out with 50 cats as Hurricane Irma ravages the Florida Keys
Irma hit the Florida Keys this morning with winds clocking at 215 km/h. The Category 4 hurricane then headed for Tampa Bay and St. Petersburg causing flooding, power outages and even tornadoes across the state.
Florida is no stranger to hurricanes but this one is a monster. Over six million people are under evacuation order. In the leadup to the storm, highways were clogged and gasoline shortages widespread. Many worried about being stranded in a car, or too poor to evacuate, are hunkered down in their homes right now. Over 100,000 people took shelter Saturday in schools, community centres and churches.
Fortunately, another giant storm — Hurricane Jose — veered away from the Caribbean last night. But in some of the islands there isn't much left to destroy after Irma. Island paradises such as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Antigua are emergency zones. Twenty five people are now reported dead. In many areas international troops are finally delivering food and water, but reconstruction is expected to take years.
But the destruction and misery left behind by these hurricanes raise other questions for Canadians. Scientists warn climate change will lead to bigger, more frequent natural disasters... are we prepared? Is our infrastructure ready? What about the impact on the insurance industry and those who pay for protection?
Our question: Are you watching Hurricane Irma? Do you have friends or relatives in its path?
Denise Dumont, former Editor-in-Chief and now General Manager of Le Soleil de la Floride
Johanna Wagstaffe, CBC Senior Meterologist
Harold R. Wanless, Chair of the department of geological sciences at the University of Miami, an expert on the effect of rising sea levels caused by climate change
Paul Kovacs, Executive Director at the Institute for Catastrophic Loss Reduction and adjunct Research Professor, Economics at Western University, in Ontario.
Kevin Quigley, Scholarly Director at the MacEachen Institute for Public Policy and Governance at Dalhousie University.
What we're reading
- Stuck in the path of Hurricane Irma? Here are key facts and contacts you need
- Hundreds of thousands flee as Florida braces for Hurricane Irma
- Hurricane Irma will 'devastate' region, FEMA head warns
- Hurricane Harvey stretches FEMA spending to the brink— and now Irma is arriving
- Hurricane could prompt Canada to suspend deportations of failed asylum seekers
- Hurricane Irma slams Turks and Caicos, with death and destruction in its wake
- How Hurricane Irma became so enormously powerful
- Hurricane Irma: What's in a wind record?
The Globe and Mail
- Canadians abroad try to return home before Hurricane Irma hits
- Oil slides as Irma heads for Florida, threatening demand
- Airlines brace for financial impact as Hurricane Irma wreaks havoc
The New York Times
- Hurricane Irma Live Updates: 'Way Bigger Than Andrew,' Florida Governor Warns
- Why Hurricane Irma Could Hurt, a Lot: Much Lies in Harm's Way
- Maps: Where Is Hurricane Irma Over Florida?