Delta flight heads through outer bands of Hurricane Irma in Puerto Rico

Governor Rosselló gives updates on preparations for Hurricane Irma

Almost 200 passengers - including flight crew - found themselves (literally) in the middle of category 5 Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful storms ever recorded. It is expected to hit the Florida Keys and South Florida by Saturday night.

Puerto Rico's fragile electric grid goes down as soon as a storm starts, or even before, and it may take three or four months to restore service in the most remote pockets.

More than 90 percent of Barbuda has been destroyed, and 95 percent of St Martin has been destroyed. The Haitian government called for all agencies, stores, and banks to shut down as the storm hit. Government officials in Florida, Georgia, and SC pleaded for people to evacuate vulnerable areas, triggering a scramble for the essentials - gasoline, water, sandbags - that, even for hurricane-hardened Floridians, was laced with dread and punctuated with dire warnings from every direction.

"It was mostly wind, not water". They raced the powerful storm, hoping to land, deplane, board and get out safely before it struck.

Cardona has been in contact with her family. Rabinowitz live-tweeted the flight, first asking, "You really want to fly into SJU during a category 5 hurricane, DL431?" "I'm not doing that again".

The hurricane's destruction has led to massive damage across Caribbean islands, leaving 10 confirmed dead.

At its height, the storm spent more than 24 hours at 185 mph wind speeds, the longest time ever recorded for hurricane wind speeds that fast.

Not all the news was terrible. However the weather in Puerto Rico wasn't risky for flying-yet.

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Others appeared to have left the storm's memory behind them, including a person who could be seen swimming along the coast and a group of boogie boarders.

"It's just unbelievable", he added.

The huge Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico.

Many people were stranded on the island as airline companies made a decision to cancel their flights after warnings were issued.

Rescuers still were working in the island's northeast, raising the possibility that more bodies could be discovered. Irma has already caused a lot of devastation on the Caribbean islands and has killed several people.

"The Harvey experience had an effect of people", lawyer Nereida Melendez, 59, said as she walked along a beach-side road covered in sand and palm leaves.

"Irmageddon" was the front-page headline Thursday of French daily Libération, as the most violent cyclone to strike the Antilles in the region's history struck the island of Barbuda and the French territories of St. Martin and St. Barthélemy, leveling nearly every building in its path.

The network's correspondent in St. Barthélemy, Eric Rayapin, described a "spectacle of desolation", with the island all but severed from the outside world.

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