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'Increasing chance' Hurricane Irma could impact Florida; Scott declares state of emergency

06 September 2017

Irma formed in the Atlantic Ocean late last month and quickly intensified, with meteorologists fearing the storm could become a Category 5 storm and make landfall, leaving destruction and catastrophe in its path. The latest advisory (as of 11:00am ET) has Irma with maximum sustained winds of 120 miles per hour. Irma is moving west at 13 miles per hour.

"Irma is expected to remain a risky major hurricane through the upcoming week and could directly effect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba", the NHC said.

Although she may be off in the distance, Hurricane Irma is striking panic in Florida residents as the current category 4 hurricane is predicted to make landfall in Florida later this week.

Although initial reports of Hurricane Irma had the system veering towards the East Coast of the United States, or out to sea, updated long-term forecast models Monday put the southern tip of Florida in the storm's potential path.

Antigua's prime minister, Gaston Browne, urged people to take preventative measures in case the storm should hit, including cleaning drains and removing objects that could be sent airborne by high winds.

Although the forecast models made some impact on the US more likely on Sunday, the exact path and any impact on SC or Charleston is not known.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 25 miles from the center, and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 80 miles.

The NHC projects that Irma will begin making a turn toward the west-northwest Tuesday night, which will continue over the next two days.

In the meantime, hurricane watches are also in effect for a number of other Caribbean countries including Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St Kitts and Nevis, as well as St Maarten.

South Florida needs to be on high alert for impacts as early as Sunday, with coastal areas of Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina being on alert for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday.

Puerto Rico's governor also declared a state of emergency on Monday. A warning is typically issued 36 hours before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical storm-force winds - which would make activities outside to prepare for a storm hard. The turn could happen after it passes Florida, but it's all speculation right now.

"Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared", Scott said in a statement. Some of the strongest hurricanes in recent history were Cape Verde storms, including Hurricane Hugo, Hurricane Floyd, and Hurricane Ivan.

'Increasing chance' Hurricane Irma could impact Florida; Scott declares state of emergency