Friday, February 28, 2020
US flag

Irma, a Cat. 5, wipes out Antigua, Barbuda; Fla. in path

Hundreds of schools have been closed. Nearly all of some islands in the Caribbean have been completely destroyed. Thousands and more are homeless, without power, without communication, without drinkable water, and without much of anything after Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 monster, brought wind speeds as high as 185 mph for over 24 hours to the surface of this planet, the longest-enduring Category 5 storm ever recorded.

VIIRS infrared, Irma at 1:35 AM EDT Sept. 6. Barbuda is in the eye (UW-Madison/CIMSS)

Most forecasting models say Irma will make landfall on the south coast of Florida on Saturday afternoon. President Donald Trump has declared a state of emergency and has promised to help Gov Rick Scott of Florida as much as possible.

The government of Haiti, on the island of Hispaniola, has closed all institutions, including banks and stores, beginning at noon today and continuing until further notice. President Jovenel Moïse said in a televised speech that his cabinet had spent a week preparing for the hurricane. Emergency crews, though, were expected to have great difficulty rescuing people, given that 77 percent of the country is mountainous and much of it’s inaccessible by road, he said.

Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda said that half of Barbuda had been left homeless. Officials declared a state of emergency there. In addition, more than 70 percent of households in the US territory of Puerto Rico were without power, and on St Martin, an official said 95 percent of the island was destroyed.

Paul Katula is the executive editor of the Voxitatis Research Foundation, which publishes this blog. For more information, see the About page.

Recent posts

Most detailed images ever of the sun

A new telescope at the National Solar Observatory snapped the most detailed pictures of the sun's surface we have ever seen.

Feds boost Bay funding

Restoration efforts in the Chesapeake Bay watershed received a boost in federal funding in the budget Congress passed last month.

Md. & IL bands perform on New Year’s in...

Bands from IL and Md. once again entertained thousands of people who lined the streets of London and Rome on New Year's Day.

Howard Co. sounds an under-staffing alarm

Teachers in a Md. district have filed a grievance over missing planning and lunch periods and, as a result, putting the most vulnerable students at risk.

Top 11 school stories of 2019

We find these 11 stories to have the greatest potential for influencing activity and direction in schools for the near future.

Girls’ volleyball champs in Illinois

We congratulate the Illinois state champions in girls' volleyball: Newark, St Teresa, Sterling, & Benet Academy.

A weekend of ‘band geeks’ across America

The musical Band Geeks was in performance at a MD high school, just as marching bands from across America named a national champion.

2 dead, 3 wounded in Calif. school shooting

Another school shooting has resulted in the death of 2 California high school students. The suspect shot himself and is in custody.

Mercury makes a transit; next in 2032

A transit of Mercury occurred today and was visible from the US, provided you had sunny skies. It was one of longest possible transits.

On the Naperville BWW racist incident

A racist incident at a Naperville, IL, sports bar indicates that the threads of racism are strong, perhaps as strong as ever.

IL bill could excuse absences to vote

A proposed law in IL could give students up to two hours during the school day so they could vote in the upcoming election.