In The Wake Of Hurricane Irma, A Florida Cyclist Spotted A Shape In The Grass

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Image: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Gainesville is famed as the home of the University of Florida, and is the largest city in the north-central region of the state, with a population of more than a quarter of a million people. So when Hurricane Irma started brewing in the Atlantic Ocean in late August 2017, there was scope for a major disaster in the city. Subsequently, when the weather system started moving north towards the mainland, Floridians were told to take action or risk their lives. In Gainesville, however, there was one tiny citizen who never got to hear the warning, with almost fatal results…

Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

People hadn’t seen a storm in the Atlantic this strong, or on this scale, for more than ten years. Not since Hurricane Wilma had come a-calling in 2005 had weather caused such consternation. Having already ravaged areas in the Caribbean, where at least 27 people had lost their lives, Hurricane Irma headed in the direction of Florida.

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Image: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Irma struck the state hard on September 10 and left almost five million of the state’s residents without electricity. Vicious winds blew at about 85 miles per hour, speeds more than capable of felling large trees. Tragically, 92 Florida residents died as a result of Irma. It was later estimated that the damage caused by the category-four storm was in excess of $80 billion. In the aftermath, homes in the state were underwater, streets were flooded and power lines had been brought down.

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