Residents now brace for Hurricane Jose.
State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert told ABC News that the State Department worked closely with the military over the last 24 hours to evacuate hundreds of people from the island, which is jointly administered by France and the Netherlands. “Until Hurricane Jose has safely passed, we strongly advise USA citizens to shelter in place at a secure location”. Irma is now a category 3 hurricane, but experts warn it could strengthen again before reaching the US mainland. Evacuation flights were supsended Saturday due to the weather.
Hurricane Irma has inflicted $1.44bm (£1.09bn, €1.2bn) worth of damage to infrastructure in the French overseas islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy alone, according to latest estimates. Tiffany Bender, a New York City woman vacationing in St. Martin when Irma hit, told CBSN she “honestly doesn’t know” when she can get off the island.
Bender told CBSN they had contacted the USA embassy and they were given a list of hotels that still had power.
The overall damage across the Caribbean has been estimated at more than $10 billion. The storm continues to bear down on the Florida coast, where millions of US citizens have been ordered to evacuate.