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8 Terrifying Facts About Hurricane Irma That Mean It Could Be Worse Than Harvey

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Just when Americans thought they could catch their breath after the devastation of Hurricane Harvey's touch-down in Texas and Louisiana, another, extremely dangerous hurricane is making it's approach to the United States.

Hurricane Irma began as a typical hurricane on August 30 near the Cape Verde Islands. But quickly grew into an intensely powerful tropical cyclone that is currently threatening Leeward Islands, Puerto Rico, Cuba and Florida.

Just 24 hours after it formed, Irma rapidly intensified to a Category 3 hurricane. By September 5, Irma had reached a Category 5 hurricane status.

As it races towards islands in the northeast Caribbean and towards Florida, citizens are being told to evacuate...

Kerry Emanuel, an MIT meteorology professor tells CBC that if Irma stays on track, she could hit the Florida Straits with wind speeds reaching as high as 362km/h.

"People who are living there [the Florida Keys] or have property there are very scared, and they should be," Emanuel said.

Here are 7 more terrifying facts about hurricane Irma:

1. Hurricane Irma is over 400 miles across.

That's larger than the state of Ohio.

2. Irma is currently a 5.3 on the Cyclone Damage Potential Index.  

Hurricane Harvey was a 5.2 and Katrina was a 4.9

3. Irma is so powerful, that it's waves crashing into the coast line are reverberating around the island of Guadeloupe.

The waves are hitting so hard that seismometers (EARTHQUAKE monitoring equipment) are reading the energy.

4. Irma is expected to register Category 4+ for five consecutive days.

It is only the fourth time this has happened since 1966.

5. Irma's winds are expected to reach 215 mph. Faster than most race cars can drive.

This makes it one of the most powerful hurricanes ever recorded.

6. A Category 5 Hurricanes will completely destroy homes, trees will be uprooted, extreme flooding and in many areas, power and water could be out for months.

7. Waves could reach up to 23 feet high. That's taller than a standard shipping container tipped on its end.

8. Irma could cost as much as $125 billion in damage.

If it maintains a Category 5, when it hits Miami, Irma could do about $250 billion in damage.

More flooding on the island of Saint MartinDaily Express

Follow the developments posted on the National Hurricane Center here.

[h/t The Guardian / CBC / Forbes/ Express/ CNBC/ Vox]