After leaving desolate landscapes in the West Indies, Hurricane Irma continues on its way to the American continent. In Florida, which it should reach in just over 24 hours, the state of emergency was declared. In the Keys, an archipelago located at the southern end of the United States, the time has already begun to change.
The birds no longer sing in the Keys. Their concert was silent; on awakening, the silence was absolute. The birds have fled the hurricane. As a quarter of the local population, Richard Kishner chose to stay. All are ready to face winds that can blow up to 280 km / h.
Richard and his wife Maryline have a hurricane shelter facing the bay, a raised bungalow with adapted windows, supposed to be unbreakable. They store food and water for a week, “says our special envoy, Anne Corpet.
We have been through a lot of hurricanes so we are very cautious and have prepared ourselves thoroughly. Of course it is worrying but it is also a bit exhilarating if you are safe inside a structure designed to withstand extreme winds.
Richard and Maryline decided to stay in their bunker caulkedReportage in the Florida Keys
The road that runs through the Keys is virtually deserted. Illuminated signs recall the evacuation order and all shops are closed, barricaded. All but one. The small supermarket of Islamorada remained open. ” I’ve been here for 35 years and I want to be useful to the community, ” says his boss. ” Most of the residents have already gone shopping. They come here mainly because they are bored, “she adds. In fact, most customers leave with a simple package of crisps or a bottle. But they stay inside for a long time to discuss their preparations.
The wind slowly begins to rise. Irma must hit within 24 hours. The Keys may then be cut off from the world for several days.
Summons to evacuate
Further north, in Tampa, on the west coast of the state, Pedro Dembovich is also preparing to take shelter. Here, the major risk is that of the floods, he explains. ” I risk losing everything, I’m afraid, ” he says. He will probably leave, like all those southern Florida residents who have been ordered to evacuate and are now encumbering the roads. ” I do not know what all these people are going to do, the tourists who have to leave the hotels. It’s a very complicated situation, “sighs Pedro Dembovich.
This morning, Florida governor Rick Scott in effect urged the population to follow evacuation orders.
This hurricane is wider than our state. It could cause significant damage and threaten the lives of the inhabitants. Remember Hurricane Andrew, one of the worst that hit Florida. Well Irma is even more devastating on its intended trajectory.
Governor of Florida