Irma upgraded to dangerous category 5 hurricane; barrels toward OECS islands

Hurricane Irma has intensified into a dangerous category 5 hurricane as it speeds toward the OECS islands of Antigua and Barbuda and St Kitts and Nevis.

At 8 o’clock this morning, the center of Irma was located at approximately 270 miles east of Antigua and is moving westward at about 14 mph.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds have increased to 175 mph, according to the National Hurricane Centre.

Hurricane warnings have been issued for the northern Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. This includes Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, St. Martin, St. Barthelemy, Vieques and Culebra.

Additionally, both a hurricane watch and a tropical storm warning have been issued for Guadeloupe, and a tropical storm warning is in effect for Dominica.

Both LIAT and Caribbean Airlines have cancelled a host of flights to and from the region today and through to Wednesday.

Irma is likely to make a direct hit on the northern Leeward Islands overnight tonight into Wednesday as at least a Category 4 hurricane, the strongest to hit that area since Lenny in 1999.

Hurricane-force winds (74-plus mph) are expected within the hurricane warning area of the Leeward Islands by Tuesday night, and tropical-storm-force winds (39-plus mph) are expected by late Tuesday.

Experts say destructive winds, capable of widespread tree damage, power outages, and structural damage can be expected. Storm-surge flooding, high surf and rip currents will also be dangers, and heavy rain could contribute to flooding and mudslides, as well.

The NHC says that a storm surge of 6 to 9 feet above normal tide levels is possible in the extreme northern Leeward Islands near and north of where the center tracks. Battering waves will ride atop the surge, capable of additional damage and erosion at the coast.

Rainfall totals in the Leeward Islands may total 4 to 8 inches, with locally 12 inches in spots.

Conditions should improve by Wednesday night.


  1. Both Sides
    September 5, 2017 at 8:58 am

    May the good God be with the people of the islands which will be hit.

  2. God is love
    September 5, 2017 at 9:11 am

    Take heed everyone! Irma seems to be coming with a vengeance….

  3. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 10:32 am

    Lord remember mercy

  4. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 1:18 pm

    OECS is not a geographical designation or grouping, but a multilateral alliance for development. I was confused – would Hurricane Irma skip some islands? Please don’t do it. Our children learn from the media.

    1. Anonymous
      September 5, 2017 at 1:29 pm

      Exactly, while the majority of those OECS member states will be in the path with the exception of St.Lucia, St.Vincent and Grenada, I don’t think it is the appropriate depiction of islands to be used.

  5. 666 - No Political Affiliation.
    September 5, 2017 at 1:23 pm

    Take cover my OECS brothers and sisters, this is not a typical hurricane…it’s a vicious monster.

  6. Hawk Eye
    September 5, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    Hope that those who don’t fear God will see His majestic power through the forces of nature. HE is creator and absolutely in control. Submit yourselves to Him.

  7. Hawk Eye
    September 5, 2017 at 3:10 pm

    Hope that those who have no fear of God will feel His presence and majestic power through those Hurricanes and draw closer to Him. He is in full control over the forces of nature.

  8. honeybee
    September 5, 2017 at 3:55 pm

    Lord please thake control of lrma, my people be safe may the good lord protect your all

  9. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    I pray God almighty reduce hurricane Irma speed

  10. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 4:07 pm

    Please father protect your children

  11. Emela
    September 5, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    May God protect all islanders from this massive hurricane.

  12. Tricia
    September 5, 2017 at 4:49 pm

    Is St Lucia in the clear of this hurricane then? No potential threat?

    1. Marsha
      September 5, 2017 at 11:26 pm

      I am heading to st. Lucia with my husband this Sunday September 10 but we are looking at rescheduling 🙁
      Hoping everyone stays safe!!! Xo

      1. Tricia
        September 6, 2017 at 6:42 pm

        My husband and I are going this weekend as well but on the 9th and we are still going! Hurricane Irma has passed St Lucia thankfully!

      2. Tricia
        September 6, 2017 at 8:25 pm

        I am heading to St Lucia too with my husband but on the 9th! We are still going because hurricane Irma has passed it.

  13. Anonymous
    September 5, 2017 at 5:40 pm

    My word if the wind is so increasing in strength now, at this time much less tonight when its passing here. The swells is so high now, and the sea is so rough at this time, much less tonight into tomorrow night, here in Saint Lucia. Much less where it is supposed to hit, I scared to even thin of having a Category 4 or 5 hit us.

  14. Jude carasco
    September 6, 2017 at 6:57 am

    Could you keep me posted on updates

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