The U.S. Navy has sent the USS Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier to the Florida Keys in order to help with search-and-rescue efforts there following Hurricane Iram’s destruction across the Florida region this weekend.
The Navy also sent two additional ships, the USS Iwo Jima and USS New York.
While Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a tropical cyclone, it is still moving north and is expected to pass over Georgia. There have been at least 11 deaths in the U.S. due to Hurricane Irma; dozens of confirmed deaths in the Caribbean, where Irma first made landfall; and now nearly 7 million people are without power.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott said: “I just hope everyone survived,” Fox News reported.
The USS Abraham Lincoln is a Nimitz-class aircraft carrier, and the second U.S. Navy ship to be named after President Abraham Lincoln. It is stationed in Norfolk, Virginia, and is part of the Atlantic Fleet.
Hurricane Irma made landfall in Florida, in the Florida Keys, on Sunday morning as a powerful Category 4 storm, threatening winds of up to 155 miles per hour and sustained winds of 130 miles per hour.
CNN’s Bill Weird described the conditions in Key Largo, in the Florida Keys, as taking a power washer in the face.
“If you own a power washer… imagine taking it in the face,” CNN reported.
This hurricane was one of the most powerful ever recorded and remains an extremely dangerous weather system.
Hurricane Irma is twice the size of Hurricane Andrew, which hit in 1992 in Florida and destroyed 63,500 houses, damaged more than 124,000 others and caused $26.5 billion in damages.
It’s being estimated that Irma cost could up to $200 billion, and Hurricane Harvey – the powerful storm that recently ravaged and flooded the Houston area of Texas – could cost upwards of $180 billion.
More than 6.5 million Florida residents evacuated in advance of Irma, and there are at least 25 people confirmed dead in the Caribbean after Irma paved a destructive path upon making landfall on the island of Barbuda, which is now reduced to rubble.
Irma made landfall on the northeast Caribbean island of Barbuda on Sept. 6, and the island is now mostly rubble. The storm then went through St. Martin and the British and U.S. Virgin islands before heading toward Puerto Rico and touching the coasts of the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Turks & Caicos.
Then the storm hit the Florida Keys with incredible power before barraging north.
Mass evacuations of residents took place in south Florida and the Florida Keys. The Navy also evacuated 5,000 personnel stationed at Naval Air Station (NAS) Key West.