Hurricane Irma strengthens to CATEGORY 4 as storm nears land

Mercredi, 13 Sep, 2017

As Irma moves on from the Keys, the storm is expected to make its way up the west coast of Florida - though the hurricane is large enough that wind and rain could stretch across the entire state.

"The storm surge will rush in and it could kill you", Florida Gov. Rick Scott warned early on Saturday. Around 6.3 million people - about 30 per cent of the state's population - have been been told to evacuate.

The fire department did not respond to 81 fire calls, including reports of downed wires and automatic alarms, and was able to get to only one house fire.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's GOES East satellite captured this visible image of Category 4 Hurricane Irma on Saturday (Sept. 9) at 10:37 a.m. EDT (1437 GMT).

A slightly less dire 2016 study by CoreLogic estimated that about 450,000 Tampa homes-one-third of the total-are vulnerable to hurricane flooding. Separately, a Florida sheriff's deputy was helping supply an evacuation shelter in Hardee County when the vehicle she was driving crashed into one driven by a state prison employee, killing them both. "We now have refugees from Barbuda in Antigua, and will have to sustain their lives for months, probably years, as we rebuild".

"Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles (130 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 220 miles (350 km)", it added.

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The northern eyewall of Hurricane Irma has reached the lower Florida Keys, according to US forecasters.

Just after 3 p.m. ET on Sunday, the Key West NWS office "lost the ability to communicate and transmit alerts", prompting the San Antonio office to take over. "Storm surge is the deadliest hazard in a hurricane". "Storm shutters are closed", he said. "[It will be] the worst single hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992". "We're in a concrete building in the fourth floor". Almost three months remain in the Atlantic hurricane season, which runs through November. The warnings are in effect for 36 hours over Saturday and Sunday. Miami was supposed to travel to Arkansas State in Week 2 while Florida State was scheduled to host Louisiana-Monroe.

Watch the shoreline in South Beach and Ft.

He was providing updates from Sunday afternoon's emergency Cobra meeting which was chaired by Defence Secretary Sir Michael Fallon.

Four concurrent tornado warnings have been issued for parts of Brevard, Seminole, Volusia and Orange counties.