Hurricane Irma was a powerful and catastrophic hurricane. One of the strongest, in fact, seen in the Atlantic relative to maximum sustained winds, since Hurricane Wilma in 2005. It was also the strongest storm on record to occur in the open Atlantic Ocean. Irma was also the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands ever, and was the second-costliest Caribbean hurricane on record, after Hurricane Maria. Irma left widespread and catastrophic damage in its wake, especially in the northeastern Caribbean and in the Florida Keys. It had the distinction to be the most intense hurricane to strike the continental United States since Katrina in 2005, as well as the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma. The word "Irmageddon" was coined afterwards to describe the damage caused by the Irma.
Hurricane Irma was the top Google searched term in the US and globally in 2017.
All totalled, 6.5 million Floridians evacuated the state, which is the largest evacuation in the state's history. This caused significant traffic congestion on the northbound lanes of Interstate 95, Interstate 75, and on the Florida Turnpike,. This degree of evacuees was caused by the fact that the entire Florida peninsula was directly in the cone of uncertainty according to the National Hurricane Center's forecast days prior to landfall. For this reason evacuees from both coasts moved north, because neither could find safe harbour by moving to the opposite coast.
Rotary District 6880 Foundation contributed $850 to the releif efforts in hurricane Irma.