As the strongest hurricane on record headed toward South Florida, it first had to get past several small Caribbean nations.
The Franco-Dutch island of St. Martin suffered significant damaged when Irma slammed into it Wednesday. Up to 70% of the houses on the Dutch side of St. Martin were badly damaged or destroyed, Dutch officials reported Saturday. The French government said that 95% of the French half of St. Martin had been destroyed.
Irma inflicted similar damage on the island of Barbuda. Prime Minister Gaston Browne initially estimated that 95% of the properties on the island had been damaged or destroyed — then later said the losses were probably even worse. About 1,600 Barbuda residents were evacuated to Antigua.