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Hurricane Irma is the strongest Atlantic basin hurricane ever recorded outside the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. It lasted as a hurricane from August 31 until September 11. The storm, which stretched 650 miles from east to west, affected at least nine US states. On September 6, Hurricane Irma devastated a string of small Caribbean islands . The eye of the hurricane passed over Barbuda, damaging about 95% of the buildings on the island. The hurricane hit southwest Florida on September 10, battering the state's lower half and leaving a trail of tornadoes and storm-surge flooding as its core slowly moved inland.