WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - At least three people are dead, and more than one million families are without power as Hurricane Irma barreled through Florida.
Winds ripped through buildings and sent trees falling to the ground.
There are fears of life-threatening storm surge flooding along the Gulf Coast.
“When they say a hurricane is coming, automatically your mind goes to Harvey because you think of the devastation and the flooding and the loss of life,” Jasmine Quander said.
Jasmine is a DC native who now lives in Fort Lauderdale.
“It's kind of scary just because you don't know what to expect. People who live down there are used to the gas and the buying the milk and the bread and all of that. I've never had to deal with a hurricane,” she said.
Jasmine’s fiancé, Roy Smith, stayed behind to look after the family and their home.
“He is a county employee, so he is expected to be a first responder,” Jasmine explained. “At the end of the day, it wasn't even a choice of do I stay or do I go. It was let me look out for my best interest since he can't leave.”
Smith recently lost power as he and his family waited for the storm to pass.
“Some power lines have fallen already, and I mean we don't even know. The surges -- the power lines were starting to pop, and electricity is turning off,” Smith said. “Just hoping that my house and my family's houses are still intact and that there aren't any life threatening damages to where they can't go back to their normal living afterward.”
“I would tell those people to hold on and that they have to have faith. They have to know they will get through these times,” Jasmine said,
People living in areas like Miami and Fort Lauderdale should stop feeling the effects of the storm by Sunday night.
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