Irma has been downgraded to a Category 3 hurricane, with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, the National Weather Service said Sunday afternoon.
At 2 p.m. ET, Irma was 35 miles south of Naples, Florida — a city expected to take a severe hit in the coming hours.
Hurricane Irma bludgeoned Florida on Sunday, snapping trees like matchsticks and turning Miami streets into rivers.
And there’s plenty more damage to come.
Naples and Marco Island will endure some of the strongest winds in the next few hours, the National Hurricane Center said Sunday.
But even more dangerous than the winds could be the storm surges that threaten to swallow Florida’s coastal cities.
“There is imminent danger of life-threatening storm surge flooding along much of the Florida west coast, including the Florida Keys, where a storm surge warning is in effect,” the hurricane center said.
“The threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected. This is a life-threatening situation.”
Still, not everyone heeded orders to evacuate coastal Florida.
Wayne Ploghoft is hunkered down on the third floor of a building on Marco Island — where catastrophic storm surges are imminent.
Ploghoft said he wasn’t able to evacuate because his flight plans didn’t work out. Now Ploghoft and three others are holed up with stockpiles of water, canned food and battery power.
“We’re all going to be OK,” Ploghoft said.
But Gov. Rick Scott said Irma’s wrath is unprecedented.
“We have never had anything like this before,” he told CNN Sunday.
In Florida and southern Georgia, more than 8 million people face hurricane-force winds topping 74 mph, said Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics.
And almost the entire state of Florida is under a hurricane warning, affecting at least 36 million people.
Miami succumbs to Irma’s wrath
Gusts topping 90 mph whipped Miami on Sunday, knocking out power to more than 680,000 customers in the Miami-Dade area.
Flying objects such as coconuts turned into dangerous projectiles. And at least one construction crane snapped, swinging vigorously over downtown Miami.
Matthew Spuler captured video of waves crashing over a seawall toward his high-rise building in downtown Miami.
“There is no seawall whatsoever,” Spuler said. “It’s amazing. It’s under water.”