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Five ways that Hurricane Irma is one for the record books

Ed Rappaport, the acting director of the National Hurricane Center, looked wary on Saturday as Hurricane Irma approached. It turned into a record-setter in more ways than one.
[Associated Press]

Ed Rappaport, the acting director of the National Hurricane Center, looked wary on Saturday as Hurricane Irma approached. It turned into a record-setter in more ways than one. [Associated Press]

Are you among the millions of people affected by Hurricane Irma? If so, you have bona fide bragging rights — you've lived through a storm that has set these five mind-boggling records:

• 185 mph winds for 37 hours — the longest any cyclone anywhere on earth has maintained that intensity. (Typhoon Haiyan in the Pacific Ocean set the previous record at 24 hours.)

• 3.25 days as a Category 5 hurricane — the most ever, tied with a 1932 storm in Cuba.

• The most Accumulated Cycle Energy of any tropical Atlantic storm in history. (Irma has generated more wind-driven energy than all eight previous storms combined in the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season including Harvey.)

• First time ever that two Atlantic storms (Irma and Jose) attained 150 mph winds simultaneously.

• The largest evacuation in Florida history — 6.5 million people, nearly a third of the state's population.

COMPLETE COVERAGE:Find all our coverage about Hurricane Irma here

And here are some other impressive Irma stats, also courtesy of the National Hurricane Center and Colorado State University meteorologist Philip Klotzbach as well as Florida utilities:

• 8.5 days as a major hurricane — Second most in the satellite era (since 1966) and trailing only Ivan in 2004.

• 185 mph maximum winds — Second highest, exceeded only by Allen in 1980 with max winds of 190 mph.

• 11.25 days as a hurricane — the most since Ivan in 2004 and tied for 9th most in the satellite era (Ginger in 1971 had a record 19.5 hurricane days),

• More than 13 million Floridians lost power, marking the biggest outage ever in Florida and one of the largest in U.S. history.

At the end of the 2017 hurricane season, Irma's name will be permanently retired. Another interesting fact — more retired Atlantic hurricane names start with "I" than any other letter, according to the Weather Channel. So you'll never again have to fear an Irma, Irene, Isabel, Ike, Ingrid, Ivan, Igor or Isidore.

Contact Susan Taylor Martin at or 727-893-8642. Follow @susanskate

Five ways that Hurricane Irma is one for the record books 09/12/17 [Last modified: Tuesday, September 12, 2017 3:46pm]
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