Canadians describe conditions in Florida
Officials have received close to 300 requests from Canadians across numerous Caribbean islands for immediate consular help, according to Global Affairs Canada.
That number is expected to increase as Irma hits Florida.
For the many Canadian who now live in Florida, they did their best to prepare for the worst of the powerful storm Sunday.
Michael Ruiter moved from Ottawa to Florida more than a decade ago. He currently lives in Key West, but has evacuated with his husband and dog to Fort Lauderdale.
Ruiter said Sunday, that area remained under a tornado warning. By afternoon, the home they are staying in had lost power.
“We heard a big crack so I guess that’s when we lost power,” Ruiter said. “We are in some bad bands now.”
Miami also took a beating from Irma Sunday. Ferocious winds knocked out power for hundreds of thousands there.
Rising waters in the downtown area, forced Canadian Ila Darwich from her apartment in that area, to a friend’s closer inland.
“It’s in the last couple of hours it really started to pick up. It’s a little scary,” she said.
Powerful winds there knocked down at least one construction crane dotting the skyline.
Global Affairs Canada said it is closely monitoring the progress of Irma, as well as hurricane Jose, which is currently gearing up to hit the same region in the coming days.
Disaster assessment teams are poised for deployment if necessary, they added.
"There are many Canadians in hurricane Irma's path, and our teams are doing their best to ensure that we get in contact and help everyone as necessary," Global Affairs Parliamentary Secretary Omar Alghabra said in a teleconference.
Anyone needing consular assistance is urged to contact their nearest government office or the Global Affairs Emergency Watch and Response Centre.
With files from Canadian Press