Hurricane Irma split trees like they were made of warm butter.

Hurricane Irma came crashing into South Florida after trashing a series of islands in the Atlantic. Going by the infamous reputation as the largest hurricane in Atlantic history Irma most certainly lived up to the hype as she hit the States. As a Fort Lauderdale resident I was happy to see that we would not be getting the eye of the storm. But after getting smacked with the dirty side of the hurricane, I’m not sure that it would have made much of a difference.

Fort Lauderdale being mostly water was able to displace the water the storm dropped on us easily, but the wind destroyed agriculture all over the city. There is not a single block you can find downtown without significant wind damage. The wind speeds seemed strong enough to put trees to the sidewalk, but were not strong enough to conquer Florida building codes that have been beefed up since hurricane Andrew demolished the lower part of the state a decade ago. So most structures were fine during the storm, the structural damage that was done, was done by debris and trees hitting the buildings not the storm winds themselves.

The strong buildings created an eary experience of being totally sheltered and looking out hurricane glass as the city around you gets destroyed. I literally watch comfortable from my bedroom as a tree smashed into my balcony and fell to the ground. By the end of the storm I would say easily 35% of the trees in town were damaged significantly. The storm also caused wide spread power outages, and literally tossed the entire beach onto A1A our famous beachfront avenue. City Officials have closed the beach due to the damage and say it may take a week to dig the road and ocean front business out of the sand and put it back on the beach.

Hurricane Irma Damage Pictures – Fort Lauderdale

Fort Lauderdale Businesses Damaged by Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma bent palm trees on the roof of the new Icon building on Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale Florida.

This tree came crashing down on a house in Oakland Park during hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma the Aftermath

After hurricane Irma there was a mandatory curfew put in place due to the dangers in the city from the storm damage. As well as the fact, that there was no power in the city making things like street lights inoperable. Looters ran havoc on the city all night long anyway, police did a great job rounding them up. Some hurricane criminal opportunists even got into shoot outs with the cops. One at least was shot by officers in West Fort Lauderdale. My neighborhood is in the South West quadrant of downtown Fort Lauderdale, it was pitch black like North Korea after the hurricane. The only lights that were on in town came from a single downtown block in the distance. I imagine that’s how North Korean’s look at Pyongyang from the fields outside the city at night. But I digress, live downtown in the dark for a night and you can quickly see how easy it would be civilization to slip into chaos. Electricity my friends is a wonderful thing.

All these pictures and videos were shot by me, Patrick Zarrelli.

Hurricane Irma and her aftermath, September 9th, 10th and 11th of 2017.