Floridians had several days’ warning before Irma’s arrival on Sunday. More than 6.5 million people were urged to evacuate (move away from a dangerous place) the coastal areas at greatest risk of flooding. That figure represents almost a third of the state’s population. Many packed up vehicles and moved inland. More than 75,000 people have hunkered down inside buildings, such as schools and churches, which have been converted into public storm shelters. It was one of the largest evacuations in U.S. history.
President Donald Trump declared emergencies for Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico. This announcement makes more government funds available to support rebuilding.
“When the time comes, we will restore, recover, and rebuild together as Americans,” the president said in a video statement. “America stands united, and I mean united.”