By Alex Dobuzinskis
(Reuters) - Florida Governor Rick Scott has warned that Hurricane Irma, which was barreling toward Florida on Friday, could be more damaging than 1992's Hurricane Andrew which caused more than $26 billion in devastation in the state.
Following are some facts about hurricanes Irma and Andrew:
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- In 1992, Hurricane Andrew blasted the southern part of Florida as it moved from east to west, spending about four hours over the state. By comparison, Scott warned this week that Irma was wider than all of Florida and could swamp it from coast to coast, during a northward push through the state.
"Remember, Hurricane Andrew is one of the worst storms in the history of Florida," Scott said at a news conference. "This is much worse and more devastating on its current path."
- Hurricane Irma could hit the Florida Keys as a Category 5, which is the highest ranking for a storm's severity, with sustained winds of 160 miles per hour (258 km per hour). Andrew made landfall as a Category 5 with maximum sustained winds of 145 miles per hour (233 km/h), according to the National Weather Service.
- Hurricane Andrew directly caused 15 deaths in Florida and another 29 indirect deaths, from causes such as fires, electrocutions and cleanup accidents, according to the National Weather Service. It directly killed eight people in Louisiana, and indirectly killed nine more in the Southern state.
- Andrew damaged or destroyed 126,000 single-family houses and ripped apart 9,000 mobile homes, according to the National Weather Service. It also caused property damage in Louisiana after sweeping through the Gulf of Mexico.
Irma is larger than Andrew and it could leave 100,000 people without shelter, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long warned at a news conference.
- In Homestead, Hurricane Andrew destroyed 1,167 mobile homes, which amounted to 99 percent of all the mobile homes in that South Florida town, according to the National Weather Service. After Andrew, the federal government imposed more stringent regulations for those types of homes.
(Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Jonathan Oatis)