Camila Domonoske | WABE 90.1 FM

Camila Domonoske

It's hot and dim inside this Comfort Inn just off the interstate in Fort Myers, Fla. The power has been off for two days, ever since the heart of Hurricane Irma passed right over the city.

But Dorothea Brown seems right at ease as she flips through a newspaper in the lobby.

In fact, she says the hotel is her "second home when we have to evacuate." Brown lives at a mobile home and RV park right along the Orange River, so evacuations are a part of life. She and her family and her neighbors have a routine.

"Every time there's a storm, we come here," she says.

Stephen Ward arrived at the Germain Arena in Estero, Fla., at 4 in the morning on Saturday as Hurricane Irma was making its approach.

On Monday morning, after the storm had passed, the elderly Fort Myers resident was unhappily looking out over the parking lot at the arena where some 5,000 people had sought shelter.

"I have to get home and see if I still have a house," he said. But the lot was covered in water, spilling from a nearby pond and rising over the hubcaps of the smaller cars. And both roads out of the parking lot were underwater, too.

Snacks? Check. Bottled water? Check. Orion capsule?

Check.

At the Kennedy Space Center, in Cape Canaveral, Fla., 120 people settled in to wait out Hurricane Irma and oversee some of the nation's premier space technology. That includes the Orion Multi-Purpose Crew Vehicle capsule. The four-person spacecraft — now in development — is intended to carry astronauts to the moon and beyond.

As Hurricane Irma takes aim at Florida's west coast, some residents are tracking its trajectory from safer cities hours away from the projected path. Some are listening to the winds from shelters not far from their homes. But others are riding it out right underneath the storm.

The state of Florida ordered more than 6.5 million residents to evacuate large swaths of the southern part of the state and the Keys, underscoring Irma's enormous size and its deadly force, which already tore apart several Caribbean islands.

David Tang, Hong Kong-born socialite, entrepreneur, philanthropist and impresario, has died at 63.

The Financial Times — the British paper for which Tang wrote a weekly column — reported his death on Wednesday, writing that Tang died on Tuesday night in a London hospital. Tang had cancer, the paper notes.

Pages