Hurricane Irma Photos and Video Show Islands Devastated by the Category 5 Storm

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NOAA's GOES satellite shows Hurricane Irma on the morning of September 5. NASA/NOAA GOES Project/Getty

Americans got a preview of what Hurricane Irma might do to the southeastern U.S. this week as the storm moved through the Caribbean, leaving destruction in its wake. Irma, a Category 5 system with sustained winds near 175 mph, slammed into places like Barbuda and St. Martin, and left more than 1 million people in Puerto Rico without power.

As of 5 p.m. EDT, Irma was about 40 miles south of Grand Turk Island and about 135 miles east of Great Inagua Island, according to the National Hurricane Center. It was moving west-northwest at about 16 mph, bringing with it a dangerous storm surge, strong winds and up to 20 inches of rain.

Those conditions and others had already killed over a dozen people.

"There is no power, no gasoline, no running water," Prime Minister Mark Rutte of the Netherlands, which owns Sint Maarten, said in a news conference, according to CBS News. "Houses are under water, cars are floating through the streets, inhabitants are sitting in the dark, in ruined houses and are cut off from the outside world."

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A rescue team from the local emergency management agency inspects flooded areas after the passing of Hurricane Irma on September 6, 2017 in Fajardo, Puerto Rico. Jose Jimenez/Getty
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An aerial photography taken and released by the Dutch department of Defense on September 6, 2017 shows the damage of Hurricane Irma in Philipsburg on the Dutch Caribbean island of Sint Maarten. Gerben van Es/AGP/Getty
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A photo taken on September 6, 2017 shows broken palm trees on the beach of the Hotel Mercure in Marigot, near the Bay of Nettle, on the French Collectivity of Saint Martin, after the passage of Hurricane Irma. Lionel Chamoiseau/AFP/Getty

Communication with Barbuda, which has about 1,600 people, has been intermittent. Barbuda and Antigua Prime Minister Gaston Browne viewed the island via helicopter and told the Antigua/Barbuda Broadcasting Services that it was "practically uninhabitable."

"From my observation, having done an aerial survey, I would say that about 95 percent of the properties would have suffered some level of damage, they would have lost at least a part of their roofs, some have lost whole roofs, some properties have been totally demolished, it is absolutely heart-wrenching," Browne said, according to Antigua Newsroom.

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A woman walks next to the Mapou River, in Shadaa neighborhood, in Cap-Haitien, in the north of Haiti, 240 km from Port-au-Prince, ahead of Hurricane Irma on September 5, 2017. Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty
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Waves crash against the shore and a stranded boat as Hurricane Irma moves off from the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic, on September 7, 2017. Ivan Alvarado/Reuters
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People walk on a street covered in debris as Hurricane Irma moves off from the northern coast of the Dominican Republic, in Nagua, Dominican Republic on September 7, 2017. Ricardo Rojas/Reuters

In Florida, local authorities were hoping to prevent such devastation by urging residents to evacuate and to prepare. The Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee, Florida Bay and Jupiter Inlet southward to Bonita Beach were all placed under a hurricane watch Thursday. Governor Rick Scott asked police to escort fuel trucks to sold-out gas stations, activated the National Guard and suspended tolls in order to get people moving away from Irma.

"I'm urging families to stay vigilant and monitor local weather and news," Scott tweeted.

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A man carrying an umbrella walks on a street as Hurricane Irma howls past Puerto Rico after thrashing several smaller Caribbean islands, in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, on September 6, 2017. Alvin Baez/Reuters
Hurricane Irma Photos and Video Show Islands Devastated by the Category 5 Storm | World