Cat 5 Hurricane Irma gains Strength, gets closer to South Florida

Hurricane from space view

*9/5/17 3 p.m. Update: Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a category 5 storm, one of the strongest storms recorded in the Atlantic.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds are 185 mph, located about 180 miles east of Antigua and Barbuda, the hurricane center said.

 

Now is the time to prepare, not panic.

That is the word from the National Hurricane Center (NOAA). Its latest report shows Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a powerful Category 4 hurricane. The monstrous storm is hurling very close to becoming a category 5.

Irma’s maximum sustained winds are at 150 MPH. The storm is taking aim at the Leeward Islands, moving west at 14 MPH.

Over the weekend, the path of the storm shifted to the south and west, increasing the possibility of it hitting the east coast of Florida or perhaps going around the peninsula and striking the southwest coast or gulf.

Forecasters point out that it is still too early to know just what the track of Irma may be, but it is time to finalize any plans for storm safety or evacuation. Governor Rick Scott tweeted, “I  have declared a state of emergency for every FL county to help state, federal and local governments work together as we prepare for .”

Only hours ago, Gov. Scott released this statement via Twitter:

Just spoke to – he offered the full resources of the federal government as Floridians prepare for Hurricane Irma.

As Floridians and residents along the east coast, gulf, and beyond keep a vigilant watch on Irma, we here at South Florida News 11 urge all to finalize your plans now. Hurricane preparedness guides are available online at https://www.ready.gov/hurricanes and at https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA…/m4340160_Hurricane.pdf.

Check in with friends and family to inform them of your plans and make sure that they too have finalized arrangements for the potential of hurricane evacuations or storm warnings. Don’t forget to plan ahead for water, food, medication, and pets during a possible emergency.

We will continue to update as more information becomes available.

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