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Scots describe Hurricane Irma as storm batters Florida

The hurricane has landed in the US after devastating islands in the Caribbean.

Storm: Warren Adams says conditions will worsen this evening.
Storm: Warren Adams says conditions will worsen this evening.

Scots caught up in Hurricane Irma have described the early effects of the devastating storm as it hits Florida.

The hurricane has devastated the Caribbean, leaving at least 23 people dead, and is moving north up the state's Gulf coast.

Millions of people have been evacuated from the popular tourist region ahead of the storm making landfall.

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm in recorded history, bringing with it sustained winds of 185mph.

Florida is expected to see the worst effects of the storm on Sunday night.

'The wind is really starting to pick up and the rain is starting to lash down.'
Warren Adams

Warren Adams, from Paisley, is living in Palm Beach working as a historic buildings preservation officer.

He expected a large number of buildings in the region to suffer damage from the high winds.

Mr Adams said: "The house is completely boarded up, we've just lost power 15 minutes ago and we're sitting in almost darkness.

"We can hear the outer bands coming in at the moment - the wind is really starting to pick up and the rain is starting to lash down.

"We're expecting the worst of it this evening."

Hurricane: Patricia McLaughlin moved inland to escape flooding.
Hurricane: Patricia McLaughlin moved inland to escape flooding.

Patricia McLaughlin, from Old Drumchapel in Glasgow, was on holiday in Redington Shores in Pinellas county when the evacuation order came through.

She moved further inland after hearing the beachfront property she was staying in was at risk from flooding.

Speaking to STV News via Skype, she said: "Conditions have definitely worsened. Inland it is very dull and very windy.

"We've been told the worst of it will come this evening.

"We had to do lots of shopping because most of the big supermarkets have closed, they're all boarded up."

'It's quite scary when the sheriff is driving around, saying through a loudspeaker that it's mandatory to evacuate.'
Patricia McLaughlin

She continued: "We've been coming her for 20 years and never experienced anything like this before.

"It's quite scary when the sheriff is driving around, saying through a loudspeaker that it's mandatory to evacuate."

Other tourists who had travelled to Florida cut their holidays short and returned to Scotland on Saturday.

The Foreign Office has warned conditions could "deteriorate significantly."

On Friday, a Scottish woman who is stranded on the British Virgin Islands described the devastating impact Irma has had there.

Speaking to STV News Tonight, Nicole Toppin said: "There's not really a tree left, buildings are down... looting going on."

https://stv.tv/news/west-central/1397383-hurricane-irma-stranded-scot-tells-of-devastating-toll/ | default

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