Hurricane Center In Florida Keeps Watch Over Irma
MARY LOUISE KELLY, HOST:
All right, let's head south from Tampa for a quick check-in on Miami. And that's where our colleague Jon Hamilton is.
Hey, there, Jon.
JON HAMILTON, BYLINE: Hi.
KELLY: How is it looking out and about on the streets in Miami this morning?
HAMILTON: Well, it is surprisingly normal, at least in the part of town where I am out toward the airport. I have seen a whole lot of power trucks going by on the freeway out here, and I understand that a lot of people are out of power. And there's still some water on the ground in places. There's - picking up a lot of palm fronds. But the city looks like it's getting back in business.
KELLY: Wow. OK, so where - if the storm is clearly passed on from where you are, where is the center of the storm right now?
HAMILTON: It's well north of - north and east of Tampa, at this point. And it is headed - I'm actually looking at a weather map right now. And it's going to take a turn to the west. It's going to go up north through the southeastern corner of Georgia, and then it's going to go through Alabama and actually into Tennessee.
KELLY: And we should note, this remains a monster storm, but Irma is no longer a hurricane.
HAMILTON: No longer a hurricane - winds are now less than 74 miles per hour. That's the cutoff for hurricanes. And of course, that's a relief, since, just a few days ago, Irma was a Category 5 storm - winds of 185 miles an hour - making it one of the biggest Atlantic storms ever. Fortunately, it got weaker when it ran into Cuba and some mountains. And it was a Category 3 when it hit. And now, of course, it's no longer a hurricane.
KELLY: OK, but still a lot of warnings in effect - officials saying, please don't go out unless you have to because we still are dealing with high winds, storm surges, all of that.
HAMILTON: Right. Yeah, I mean, in addition to the power outages, there are places where you could have a whole lot of rain. They were predicting up to 2 inches of rain per hour in some places, which is enough to cause really dangerous flash floodings. And people should remember that, in hurricanes, even though it's the wind that seems the scariest, it's the water that kills people.
KELLY: Thank you, Jon.
HAMILTON: You're welcome.
KELLY: NPR's Jon Hamilton in Miami, updating us on the latest on Hurricane - now tropical storm - Irma.
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