Irma moves up Florida's west coast as Category 2 storm

At Category 3, Irma is expected to regain strength overnight.

The eye of the storm, which is the most violent and furious part of any storm, is expected to cross the Florida Keys early on Sunday morning.

Marlin said many countries and people have offered help to St. Maarten, but authorities were waiting on the weather conditions to see how it could be coordinated.

The storm is now headed toward the southwestern tip of the state, then up along the coast to Naples, Fort Myers and the densely populated peninsulas of Tampa Bay on Florida's west coast.

Irma at one time was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, with a peak wind speed of 185 miles per hour.

Irma smacked the Keys 57 years to the day that Hurricane Donna hit the same area in 1960, destroying almost 75 percent of the island chain's buildings. Nearly the entire state is under hurricane warning.

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"Pray for us", Florida Governor Rick Scott said in an ABC News interview as his state braced for the massive storm, which has already left a trail of destruction through the Caribbean. "And the actual damage estimates of not only Harvey, but also Irma takes place over a course of several years, so it's not that all money needs to come down at one time".

"Any time you're in that northeast quadrant as the storm is moving forward, that's where the maximum radius winds are that define the intensity of the storm", he said.

Note: The cone contains the probable path of the storm center but does not show the size of the storm. Petersburg areas early Monday.

President Donald Trump reiterated his warning that those in the path of Hurricane Irma need to get out of its way in remarks to his Cabinet at Camp David on Saturday. More than 5.6 million Floridians have been ordered to evacuate, and Scott has urged people living in mandatory evacuation zones to flee immediately.

Hurricane Irma slammed northern Cuba on Saturday, September 9, 2017.

The company took offline one of two reactors at its Turkey Point nuclear plant south of Miami. Katia broke apart after making landfall in Mexico.

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If there is any consolation, it may be that "the damage to tourism is going to be less than feared because a great many popular islands have been spared", including Aruba, Bonaire and CuraÁao, said Arthur Frommer, the founder of Frommer's travel guides. Miami-Dade County had the most outages with about 250,000. After Tampa, the storm is predicted to keep moving north, arriving in Atlanta by Monday morning.still packing a healthy wallop, with wind gusts clocking in at more than 60 miles per hour. These fast-moving winds can damage buildings and trees. Local officials will let you know when it is safe.

Storm surge is an "abnormal rise of water generated by a storm, over and above the predicted astronomical tides", according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Hurricanes are large swirling storms, characterised by winds that can go up to 119 kilometers per hour (74 mph) or higher.

"I kept saying, 'Lord, please stop this, and soon, soon, '" said Basch, who was evacuated to Puerto Rico. Crews from as far as MA and California are in state to aid restoration efforts.

Despite all that, Masters predicts that when Irma is done it will go down as one of the five costliest hurricanes in US history, but not up with the top three of 2005's Hurricane Katrina, 2012's Sandy and this year's Harvey.

Cien presos "peligrosos" escaparon de la cárcel de Islas Vírgenes — Huracán Irma
Las imágenes muestran una comparativa con el mes pasado para apreciar mejor el efecto directo hacia las islas por causa de Irma .

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