On Sunday, September 10, Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida after carving a devastating path through the Caribbean Islands—and only a week after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas and caused widespread damage. With multiple fatalities and entire islands reduced to rubble, Americans anxiously followed the storm’s path to the Sunshine State.
Originally, Irma’s path was set for the east coast of the state, leaving Miami residents with the choice to brace themselves or follow the mandatory evacuation order, which caused nearly standstill traffic on Florida’s north-bound interstates. But, the storm’s path shifted last minute to the Gulf Coast. Cities like Naples and Tampa had to prepare quickly for one of the largest hurricanes they had seen in years.
Some Florida residents evacuated the state, others found refuge in shelters for safety, and some chose to stay in their own homes. Photojournalists were on the scene as the state prepared, and as the storm hit, they captured powerful images of the impact of the natural disaster.