What would Hurricane Irma look like over Michigan? - WNEM TV 5

What would Hurricane Irma look like over Michigan?

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NWS Gaylord NWS Gaylord
Source: NWS Gaylord Source: NWS Gaylord

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday, churning along a path pointing to Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.

To show just how massive the hurricane is, the National Weather Service in Gaylord released a satellite overlay of the hurricane over Michigan. 

"Hurricane Irma is incredible in size and appearance. To give you a sense of just how massive this category 5 hurricane is, we've overlaid its satellite imagery over Michigan," the post on Facebook said. 

The eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m., the National Weather Service said. Residents said over local radio that phone lines went down. Heavy rain and howling winds raked the neighboring island of Antigua, sending debris flying as people huddled in their homes or government shelters.

To show a comparison, the NWS created a satellite overlay of the eye of Hurricane Irma over Michigan. The diameter would encompass St. Ignace, Mackinac Island, and the Mackinac Bridge. ?

The Category 5 storm had maximum sustained winds of 185 mph (295 kph), according to the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Its forecast late Tuesday was for the winds to fluctuate slightly but for the storm to remain at Category 4 or 5 strength for the next day or two. The most dangerous winds, usually nearest to the eye, were forecast to pass near the northern Virgin Islands and near or just north of Puerto Rico through the day Wednesday.

Officials warned people to seek protection from Irma's "onslaught" in a statement that closed with: "May God protect us all."

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