Hurricane Irma rightly has many worried in the mainland United States, particularly Florida. But its path from the Atlantic Ocean, just west of the African Coast, to its current destructive push through the Caribbean is already worth discussing. It's record-setting. Irma has sustained 185 mile-per-hour winds longer than any other Atlantic hurricane in history, and it made landfall at that strength too. These Hurricane Irma GIFs show that huge, destructive power in visual form.
The images on the ground from some of the worst-hit islands are lacking, given that the storm first hit in the middle of the night. On Barbuda, Prime Minister Gaston Browne said that 90 percent of the island's structures and vehicles were destroyed; at least one person died. On Saint Martin, at least six died on the French-administered half of the island. And in Puerto Rico, where the wall of the storm luckily stayed off the coast of the island, nearly 1 million people had lost power. Many areas are also without water.
The damage is set to continue, as Irma moves toward the Dominican Republic and then the Turks and Caicos islands as well as the Bahamas. Not only will there be the crushing winds that have been seen along Irma's path, but the storm surge will also be formidable, up to 20 feet in some areas, according to the National Hurricane Center. To get an idea for how bad the storm can be, consider these GIFs of radar and satellite images. They're truly astounding.