HAVANA, Sept. 11th Havana residents woke up Monday to a city still without power and some neighborhoods still under water.
Even though Havana was far from where Irma first hit, the city suffered severe flooding and widespread wind damage.
“The water rushed in and knocked down our door,” said Olga, as she took all her soaked belongings out of her house to dry in the returning sunshine.
All over the city, officials removed debris and worked to restore power.
President Raul Castro published a column on the front page of the communist party daily Granma, calling for Cuba’s “combative people” to unify and repair the damage caused by Irma.
Amid the wreckage, people began to venture out in Havana as the floodwaters receded.
Cubans walked their dogs through the debris and shared news of the storm.
“This was a big one but we are used to it,” said Antonio as he read a newspaper on a park bench sandwiched between two fallen trees.
Category 5 storm “caused severe damage”
Irma made landfall in Cuba late Friday as a Category 5 storm, blasting into seaside towns and causing flooding in low-lying areas of Havana. Winds of 125 mph whipped roofs off buildings, ripped trees from the ground and forced evacuations along the coast.
“Classified by the experts as the greatest hurricane ever to have formed in the Atlantic, this meteorological phenomenon has caused severe damage to the country, which, precisely because of the storm’s wingspan, we still have not been able to quantify,” the President said in a statement published on the Internet.
“Moreover, it has hit some of our main tourist destinations, but the effects will be salvaged before the start of the high season. We have the necessary human and material resources, for what constitutes one of the main sources of income for the national economy.”
REFILE – QUALITY REPEAT A woman wades through the water after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES
A woman talks to a neighbour while sitting in the door of her flooded home, after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES
Tourists walk past trees brought down by Hurricane Irma, one day after the storm at their resort in Varadero, Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
A man and two children wade through a flooded street, after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES
A flooded street in Havana, on September 10, 2017. Deadly Hurricane Irma battered central Cuba on Saturday, knocking down power lines, uprooting trees and ripping the roofs off homes as it headed towards Florida. Authorities said they had evacuated more than a million people as a precaution, including about 4,000 in the capital. / AFP PHOTO / YAMIL LAGE (Photo credit should read YAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images)
Tourists lie on a beach, littered with palms, one day after Hurricane Irma passed the resort area in Varadero, Cuba, Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017. (AP Photo/Desmond Boylan)
People wade through a flooded street, after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba September 10, 2017. The sign on the wall reads “We will continue to defend the revolution.” REUTERS/Stringer NO SALES. NO ARCHIVES
Waves crash against the seafront boulevard El Malecon as Hurricane Irma turns toward the Florida Keys on Saturday, in Havana, Cuba September 9, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Waves crash against the seafront boulevard El Malecon ahead of the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba September 9, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
A man helps a girl with a swim float as she plays in a flooded street, after the passing of Hurricane Irma, in Havana, Cuba September 10, 2017. REUTERS/Stringer
View of flooded streets during the passage of Hurricane Irma in Havana, on September 9, 2017. Irma’s blast through the Cuban coastline weakened it to a Category Three, but it is still packing winds of 125 miles (200 kilometer) per hour. / AFP PHOTO / YAMIL LAGEYAMIL LAGE/AFP/Getty Images