We had no sooner taken stock of the extraordinary damage wrought by Hurricane Harvey in Texas than another uniquely fierce and record-breaking hurricane began heading straight toward the Caribbean and the southeast US.
As of Sunday afternoon, Hurricane Irma had finished socking the north coast of Cuba and several tiny Caribbean islands, including the British Virgin Islands and Barbuda, with a trail that left more than 25 people dead. The storm, a Category 4 with winds swirling at near 130 miles per hour, made landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning and was continuing up the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon. Meteorologists are warning of up to 20 inches of rain and life-threatening storm surge of up to 15 feet in Florida in the coming days.
The extent of the damage to the Caribbean islands Irma has hit so far is still unclear. But its winds, which peaked at 185 mph, have torn through human settlements and toppled trees, while its rain and storm surge have flooded homes and streets. Here are some of the most telling images from the ground we’ve seen so far from Irma’s path. (This post will be updated with new images as the storm moves west.)