Hurricane Irma Live Updates: ‘Leave Now,’ Florida Governor Warns

Hurricane Irma pounded the Bahamas before making landfall Friday night in the northern part of Cuba as it cycled toward Florida. It is exp...


Hurricane Irma pounded the Bahamas before making landfall Friday night in the northern part of Cuba as it cycled toward Florida. It is expected to hit there late Saturday with wind speeds powerful enough to snap trees and power poles and tear the roofs off buildings. And Gov. Rick Scott said the lower half of Florida could face life threatening storm surge as early as Saturday morning.

Irma, which was making landfall on the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba as a Category 5 storm with 160-mile-per-hour winds, had already caused flooding in Cuba’s northeast on Friday as it continued to move along the nation’s northern coastline, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In the Caribbean, where more than 20 people were killed, residents in Barbuda and St. Martin, islands that suffered excessive damage from Irma, wearily prepared for Hurricane Jose, the Category 4 storm that could hit those islands within the next two days.

In Florida, officials estimated that 5.6 million residents have been ordered to evacuate. They repeatedly urged Floridians not to underestimate the power of Irma. Governor Scott has said it would be “way bigger than Andrew,” referring to the 1992 storm that was the most destructive hurricane to hit the state.

“If you have been ordered to evacuate, you need to leave now,” he said at a news conference Friday evening. “Not tonight, not in an hour, now.”

Brock Long, the FEMA administrator, cautioned that people from Alabama to North Carolina should be monitoring the storm and making preparations.

On Friday, Gov. Kay Ivey of Alabama issued a full state of emergency in an effort to better prepare the state for Irma. Gov. Henry McMaster of South Carolina also announced that he would order the mandatory evacuation of several islands — including the popular resort island Hilton Head — beginning at 10 a.m. Saturday.

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GhanaPoliticians.com: Hurricane Irma Live Updates: ‘Leave Now,’ Florida Governor Warns
Hurricane Irma Live Updates: ‘Leave Now,’ Florida Governor Warns
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