How to survive hurricane-force winds

The tweet received positive feedback in the midst of an otherwise grim situation, with many thanking the Pasco Sheriff's office for bringing a glimmer of humor as Irma heads toward South Florida.

The tweet was published along with a Yahoo article containing a graphic of a hurricane system, showing its swirling motion with the words "bullets come back don't shoot".

By late Saturday afternoon, Irma had slightly switched directions to the west, with winds at about 125 miles per hour.

"It's going to be very eerie on Sunday when, if it's projected to hit at that point, that we're in the middle of playing a ballgame", Rays manager Kevin Cash said.

The wide reach of Irma's deadly winds and its size, more than its numerical ranking, has rattled veteran hurricane watchers. One Twitter user even offered a counter event: singing Smash Mouth's hit "All Star" to hopefully turn the storm away. Besides that, the wind is stronger because you're higher in the air, and the air gets squeezed between the tall buildings.

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"Just left the island and said goodbye to everything I own", the 62-year-old Ball said. A storm surge of over 10 feet was recorded in the Keys, and forecasters warned some places on the mainland could get up to 15 feet of water.

The window for people in evacuation zones to flee was drawing to a close on Saturday, officials said, warning that gas stations would soon be without fuel and bridges would be closed in some areas.

"Anyone who didn't heed the evacuation orders here in Miami Beach, it's time to bunker down", Van Dam said.

Hurricane force winds and heavy rainfall are forecast across the entire Florida peninsula.

These high rises in Miami and surrounding areas are already feeling 100 miles an hour winds. But Irma's interaction with land weakened the storm from a potentially catastrophic Category 5 to a Category 3.

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"The storm surge flooding in Miami [on Sunday] is a mere fraction of what would have happened if the core of Irma had been farther east", tweeted Rick Knabb, a hurricane expert at the Weather Channel and former director of the National Hurricane Center.

If the right-front quadrant had instead targeted Miami, for example, the storm surge disaster would have been unimaginably bad - akin to the worst-case scenario described before the storm. While one can only hope that residents living in areas susceptible to gales of that magnitude have already evacuated, that's not necessarily possible for everybody.

It was the first time the eye of a Category 5 storm had made landfall in Cuba since 1932, state media said, and the island's Communist government ordered the evacuation of more than 1 million people, with most sheltering with family and friends.

About 9 million people in Florida may lose power, some for weeks, said Florida Power & Light Co, which serves almost half of the state's 20.6 million residents. Trump and his cabinet were at Camp David in Maryland, receiving updates on the storm. In addition, the storm could still shift east or west as it travels north, and inland flooding is also expected from the as-much-as 25 inches of rainfall that some areas of Florida and Georgia could receive from Irma over the next few days. "I'm not sure how people will deal with it. We'll find a way to deal with it, but I think a lot of our thoughts will be back at home with our community".

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