Hurricane Irma stormed toward Florida as one of the strongest hurricanes ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean. It was one of few to reach a rare Category 5 status, with peak winds reaching 185mph. (Learn how these monster storms are built.)
As Irma moved northwest across the Florida panhandle and into Georgia and Alabama, the storm weakened to a tropical storm. In its wake, millions of Floridians were left without electricity. On Monday, crews began grappling with the full extent of the storm’s damage, which hit the northern region of the state harder than expected, according to CNN.
Photos from the National Hurricane Center’s weather satellites show the storm, with its roughly 30-mile-wide eye, spinning along a northwesterly path. To evade Irma’s powerful winds and torrential downpour, thousands evacuated the southern coast of Florida, and a state of emergency was declared to mobilize emergency response units.
The storm came on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, which dumped an unprecedented amount of rain on southeast Texas in late August.
See photos of how people braced for impact and coped with the historic storm’s aftermath.