Hurricane Irma was an extremely powerful Cape Verde hurricane that caused widespread destruction across its path in September 2017. Irma was the first Category 5 hurricane to strike the Leeward Islands on record, followed by Maria two weeks later. At the time, it was considered as the most powerful hurricane on record in the open Atlantic region, outside of the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico until it was surpassed by Hurricane Dorian two years later. It was also the third strongest Atlantic hurricane at landfall ever recorded, just behind the 1935 Labor Day Hurricane and Hurricane Dorian.
The ninth named storm, fourth hurricane, second major hurricane, and first Category 5 hurricane of the 2017 season, Irma caused widespread and catastrophic damage throughout its long lifetime, particularly in the northeastern Caribbean and the Florida Keys. It was also the most intense hurricane to strike the continental United States since Katrina in 2005, the first major hurricane to make landfall in Florida since Wilma in the same year, and the first Category 4 hurricane to strike the state since Charley in 2004.