ISIS SUPPORTERS HAIL HURRICANE IRMA AS ‘SOLDIER OF ALLAH’ & ‘ANOTHER 9/11’

This is what you did with the Muslims! And that’s what you deserve.”

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HURRICANE IRMA PUMMELS FLORIDA; ‘THIS ONE SCARES ME’

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MIAMI (AP) — A monster Hurricane Irma roared into Florida with 130 mph winds Sunday for what could be a sustained assault on nearly the entire Sunshine State, submerging streets, knocking out power to millions and snapping massive construction cranes over the Miami skyline.

The 400-mile-wide (640-kilometer-wide) storm blew ashore in the morning in the mostly cleared-out Florida Keys and then began a slow march up the state’s west coast. Forecasters said it could hit the heavily populated Tampa-St. Petersburg area early Monday.

“Pray, pray for everybody in Florida,” Gov. Rick Scott said on “Fox News Sunday” as more than 160,000 people statewide waited it out in shelters.

Irma struck as a Category 4 but by late afternoon had weakened to a Category 2 with 110 mph (177 kph) winds that whipped Florida’s palm trees with drenching squalls. A storm surge of over 10 feet (3 meters) was recorded in the Keys, and forecasters warned some places on the mainland could get up to 15 feet of water.

There were no immediate confirmed reports of any deaths in Florida, on top of the 24 people killed during Irma’s destructive trek across the Caribbean.

Many streets were flooded in downtown Miami and other cities. In the low-lying Keys, boats were reported sunk and appliances and furniture were seen floating away, but the full extent of Irma’s fury there was not clear.

A Miami woman who went into labor was guided through delivery by phone when authorities couldn’t reach her in high winds and street flooding. Firefighters later took her to the hospital.

An apparent tornado spun off by Irma destroyed six mobile homes in Palm Bay, hundreds of miles away along the state’s Atlantic coast. Flooding was reported along Interstate 4, which cuts across Florida’s midsection.

In downtown Miami, two of the two dozen construction cranes looming over the skyline collapsed in the wind. No injuries were reported. City officials said it would have taken about two weeks to move the massive equipment.

Curfews were imposed in Miami, Tampa, Fort Lauderdale and much of the rest of South Florida, and some arrests of violators were reported. Miami Beach barred outsiders from the island.

Fort Lauderdale police arrested nine people they said were caught on TV cameras looting sneakers and other items from a sporting goods store and a pawn shop during the hurricane.

More than 2.7 million homes and businesses across the state lost power, and utility officials said it will take weeks to restore electricity to everyone.

While the projected track showed Irma raking the state’s Gulf Coast, forecasters warned that the entire state – including the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people – was in danger because of the sheer size of the storm.

Nearly 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to evacuate, including 6.4 million in Florida alone.

About 30,000 people heeded orders to leave the Keys as the storm closed in, but an untold number refused, in part because to many storm-hardened residents, staying behind in the face of danger is a point of pride.

John Huston, who stayed in his Key Largo home, watched his yard flood even before the arrival of high tide. “Small boats floating down the street next to furniture and refrigerators. Very noisy,” he said by text message. “Shingles are coming off.”

Irma made landfall just after 9 a.m. at Cudjoe Key, about 20 miles outside Key West, forecasters said. During the afternoon, it rounded Florida’s southwestern corner and hugged the coast closely as it pushed toward Naples, Sanibel, Fort Myers and, beyond that, Sarasota, at 14 mph (23 kph).

Hurricane-force winds extended 80 miles (129 kilometers) from its center.

Meteorologist Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics said the entire Florida peninsula will be raked by Irma’s right front quadrant – the part of a hurricane that usually brings the strongest winds, storm surge, rain and tornadoes.

The Tampa-St. Petersburg area, with a population of about 3 million, has not taken a direct hit from a major hurricane since 1921.

The wind began picking up in St. Petersburg, some 400 miles north of the Keys, and people started bracing for the onslaught.

“I’ve been here with other storms, other hurricanes. But this one scares me,” Sally Carlson said as she snapped photos of the waves crashing against boats. “Let’s just say a prayer we hope we make it through.”

Forecasters said a weakened Irma could push into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and beyond. A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, some 200 miles from the sea.

“Once this system passes through, it’s going to be a race to save lives and sustain lives,” Federal Emergency Management Agency chief Brock Long said on “Fox News Sunday.”

With FEMA still dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Irma could test the agency’s ability to handle two disasters at the same time.

President Donald Trump approved a disaster declaration for Florida, opening the way for federal aid.

Florida’s governor activated all 7,000 members of the Florida National Guard, and 10,000 guardsmen from elsewhere were being deployed.

For days, forecasters had warned that Irma was taking dead aim at the Miami metropolitan area and the rest of Florida’s Atlantic coast.

But then Irma made a more pronounced westward shift – the result of what meteorologists said was an atmospheric tug-of-war between weather systems that nudged Irma and determined when it made its crucial right turn into Florida.

Irma at one time was the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic, a Category 5 with a peak wind speed of 185 mph (300 kph). Given its size, strength and projected course, it could still prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida.

The storm brought memories of Hurricane Charley, which blew ashore near Fort Myers in 2004 with winds near 149 mph (240 kph). It caused $15 billion in damage and was blamed for as many as 35 deaths in the U.S. (Click to Site)

Forecasters say Irma’s prime target is now Tampa, not Miami

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MIAMI (AP) — With the window closing fast for anyone wanting to escape, Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a new projected track that could put the Tampa area — not Miami — in the crosshairs.

The Tampa area has not taken a direct hit from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

“You need to leave — not tonight, not in an hour, right now,” Gov. Rick Scott warned residents in the evacuation zones ahead of the storm’s predicted arrival on Sunday morning.

For days, the forecast had made it look as if the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people on Florida’s Atlantic coast could get hit head-on with the catastrophic and long-dreaded Big One.

The westward swing in the hurricane’s projected path overnight caught many on Florida’s Gulf coast off guard. By late morning, few businesses in St. Petersburg and its barrier islands had put plywood or hurricane shutters on their windows, and some locals groused about the change in the forecast.

“For five days, we were told it was going to be on the east coast, and then 24 hours before it hits, we’re now told it’s coming up the west coast,” said Jeff Beerbohm, a 52-year-old entrepreneur in St. Petersburg. “As usual, the weatherman, I don’t know why they’re paid.”

Tampa has not been struck by a major hurricane since 1921, when its population was about 10,000, National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said. Now the area has around 3 million people.

The new course threatened everything from Tampa Bay’s bustling twin cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg to Naples’ mansion- and yacht-lined canals, Sun City Center’s sprawling compound of modest retirement homes, and Sanibel Island’s shell-filled beaches.

Forecasters warned of storm surge as high as 15 feet along a swath of southwest Florida and beyond.

“This is going to sneak up on people,” said Jamie Rhome, head of the hurricane center’s storm surge unit.

With the new forecast, Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, ordered 260,000 people to leave, while Georgia scaled back evacuation orders for some coastal residents.

Irma has left more than 20 people dead in its wake across the Caribbean, ravaging such resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Antigua.

The storm weakened slightly in the morning but was expected to pick up strength again before hitting the Sunshine State.

Meteorologists predicted its center would blow ashore Sunday in the perilously low-lying Florida Keys, then hit southwestern Florida and move north, plowing into the Tampa Bay area. Though the center is expected to miss Miami, the metro area will still get pounded with life-threatening hurricane winds, Feltgen said.

On Saturday morning, the state was already beginning to feel Irma’s muscle. Nearly 30,000 people had lost power, mostly in and around Miami and Fort Lauderdale, as the wind began gusting.

In Key West, 60-year-old Carol Walterson Stroud sought refuge in a senior center with her husband, granddaughter and dog. The streets were nearly empty, shops were boarded up and the wind started to blow.

“Tonight, I’m sweating,” she said. “Tonight, I’m scared to death.”

In one of the biggest evacuations ever ordered in the U.S., about 6.4 million people in Florida — more than one-quarter of the state’s population — were warned to leave. Gas shortages and gridlock plagued the evacuations. Parts of interstates 75 and 95 north were bumper-to-bumper.

Some 54,000 people crowded 320 shelters across Florida. At Germain Arena not far from Fort Myers, on Florida’s southwestern corner, thousands waited in a snaking line for hours to gain a spot in the hockey venue-turned-shelter.

“We’ll never get in,” Jamilla Bartley lamented as she stood in the parking lot.

The governor activated all 7,000 members of the Florida National Guard, and 30,000 guardsmen from elsewhere were on standby.

Major tourist attractions, including Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and Sea World, all prepared to close Saturday. The Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports shut down, and those in Orlando and Tampa planned to do the same later in the day.

With winds that peaked at 185 mph (300 kph), Irma was once the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic. Given its mammoth size and strength and its projected course, it could still prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida and inflict damage on a scale not seen here in 25 years.

It could also test the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to handle two crises at the same time. FEMA is still dealing with aftermath of catastrophic Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

Ray Scarborough and girlfriend Leah Etmanczyk left their home in Big Pine Key and fled north with her parents and three big dogs to stay with relatives in Orlando. Scarborough was 12 when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 and remembers lying on the floor in a hall as the storm nearly ripped the roof off his house.

“They said this one is going to be bigger than Andrew. When they told me that, that’s all I needed to hear,” said Scarborough, now a 37-year-old boat captain. “That one tore everything apart.”

Andrew razed Miami’s suburbs with winds topping 165 mph (265 kph), damaging or blowing apart over 125,000 homes. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died. (Click to Site)

Hurricane Irma shifts away from Miami, taking aim at Tampa

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MIAMI — Hurricane Irma hurtled toward Florida with 125 mph winds Saturday on a shifting course that turned it away from Miami and instead threatened the first direct hit on the Tampa area from a major hurricane in nearly a century.

That represented a significant turn in the forecast, which for days had made it look as if the Miami metropolitan area of 6 million people was going to get slammed head-on by the Big One.

“You don’t want to play with this thing,” Sen. Marco Rubio warned during a visit to the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center. “People will die from this.”

Forecasters predicted Irma’s center would blow ashore Sunday in the perilously low-lying Florida Keys, then hit southwestern Florida, move up the state’s Gulf Coast and plow into the Tampa Bay area.

The storm center itself is expected to miss Miami, but the metro area will still get pounded with life-threatening hurricane winds, National Hurricane Center spokesman Dennis Feltgen said.

Donna Tubbs, who lives in a mobile home park in Lakeland, says she’s packed her bags but she’s not leaving home. “All the families around here are planning to stay,” Tubbs told CBS affiliate WTSP-TV in Tampa. She said many in the area are retired nurses who intend on helping with recovery efforts.

Tampa has not been struck by a major hurricane since 1921, when its population was about 10,000, Feltgen said. Now the area has around 3 million people and encompasses two of Florida’s biggest cities: Tampa and St. Petersburg.

With the new forecast, Pinellas County, home to St. Petersburg, ordered 260,000 people to leave.

The overnight change in course was frustrating and frightening to Tampa Bay residents who awoke to the news, including Jeff Beerbohm, a 52-year-old entrepreneur who planned on riding out the storm in his high-rise condo in downtown St. Petersburg.

He groused about days of predictions that Irma would run up the state’s east coast, only to undone by a last-minute change.

“As usual, the weatherman, I don’t know why they’re paid,” he said.

As the storm closed in on the Sunshine State, it raked Cuba and left more than 20 people dead in its wake across the Caribbean after ravaging such resort islands as St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Antigua.

Irma weakened slightly in the morning but was expected to pick up strength again before slamming Florida.

On Saturday morning, the hurricane’s outer bands blew into South Florida as residents scrambled to leave. Damaging winds were moving into areas including Key Biscayne and Coral Gables, and gusts up to 56 mph were reported off Miami.

Already, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez said 19,000 homes in the county were without power before midday, including his own.

In Key West, 60-year-old Carol Walterson Stroud sought refuge in a senior center with her husband, granddaughter and dog. The streets were nearly empty, shops were boarded up and the wind began to gust.

“Tonight, I’m sweating,” she said. “Tonight, I’m scared to death.”

In one of the biggest evacuations ever ordered in the U.S., about 6.3 million people in Florida – more than one-quarter of the state’s population – were warned to leave, and 540,000 were directed to clear out from the Georgia coast. Authorities opened hundreds of shelters for people who did not leave. Hotels as far away as Atlanta filled up with evacuees.

Gas shortages and gridlock plagued the evacuations, turning normally simple trips into tests of will. Parts of interstates 75 and 95 north were bumper-to-bumper, while very few cars drove in the southbound lanes.

“If you are planning to leave and do not leave tonight, you will have to ride out this extremely dangerous storm at your own risk,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday. He urged everybody in the Keys to get out.

Major tourist attractions, including the Disney World parks, Universal Studios and Sea World, all prepared to close Saturday. The Miami and Fort Lauderdale airports shut down, and those in Orlando and Tampa planned to do the same later in the day.

With winds that peaked at 185 mph, Irma was once the most powerful hurricane ever recorded in the open Atlantic. But given its mammoth size and strength and its projected course, it could still prove one of the most devastating hurricanes ever to hit Florida and could inflict damage on a scale not seen here in 25 years.

It could also test the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s ability to handle two crises at the same time. FEMA is still dealing with aftermath of catastrophic Hurricane Harvey in the Houston area.

Ray Scarborough and girlfriend Leah Etmanczyk left their home in Big Pine Key and fled north with her parents and three big dogs to stay with relatives in Orlando. Scarborough was 12 when Hurricane Andrew hit in 1992 and remembers lying on the floor in a hallway as the storm nearly ripped the roof off his house.

“They said this one is going to be bigger than Andrew. When they told me that, that’s all I needed to hear,” said Scarborough, now a 37-year-old boat captain. “That one tore everything apart.”

Andrew razed Miami’s suburbs with winds topping 165 mph, damaging or blowing apart over 125,000 homes. Almost all mobile homes in its path were obliterated. The damage in Florida totaled $26 billion, and at least 40 people died. (Click to Site)

As Florida residents empty shelves, more supplies coming

Target, Home Depot, Walmart restocking before Hurricane Irma

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ORLANDO, Fla. – People around Central Florida were already experiencing a shortage of supplies at grocery stores on Monday, but the managers of some big-box stores said they have reenforcements on the way.

Although Hurricane Irma is days away from potential impact, the current projected path shows it possibly hitting Florida as a Category 5 storm.

On Tuesday, shoppers lined up outside several stores, including Costco in Altamonte Springs, for a chance to get supplies, including water, batteries and food. (See video below.)

“(It was) a little bit of a pandemonium,” shopper Diane Williams said. “Getting here was worse than being inside. It’s just that everybody is panicked, so they are preparing, which is wise, but it’s just, like, crazy.”

Patrick Sutton, the assistant manager at the Home Depot in Altamonte Springs, said the store ran out of generators on Monday and water and flashlights by Tuesday afternoon.

“I think everyone is more aware of what’s going on because of what happened with Harvey in Texas,” he said. “I was here in 2004 for Charley and it was not taken so seriously back then. Now, everybody is taking it more seriously, which allows them to get the supplies they need and gives us time to get the supplies soon enough.”

Home Depot Corporate launched its Rapid Response Team, sending trucks from Atlanta to Florida on Tuesday to restock the shelves across the state.

“My trucks are on the road right now and will be coming in the next days. We have a couple of more days before the storm hits, so we have more time,” Sutton said. “By the end of the week, they will have everything they need.”

On Monday night, shoppers said, Publix in College Park was out of bottled water. A viewer also gave News 6 a picture showing empty water shelves at the Walmart on Alafaya Trail near the University of Central Florida.

Micah Kropp stopped by Publix in College Park and bought water by the gallon since that was the only option. He’s also stocking up on canned food, crackers and diapers.

“I got a 1-year-old and a 3-year-old, so (I’ve) got to think a little differently with them at the helm, and then will be traveling this week for work, so not sure when I will have the time. It will be kind of hectic,” Kropp said.

A spokesperson with Target headquarters said Florida stores will be getting additional supplies and resources ahead of the storm.

“We’re providing stores with additional supplies that we know our guests need to stock up, including water, batteries, flashlights, toiletries, camping supplies, cleaning supplies and nonperishable food,” Target spokeswoman Jenna Reck said. “We’ll continue to push as many products to our stores as we safely can before the hurricane hits.”

News 6 picked up supplies at the Walmart located on the corner of Princeton Street and John Young Parkway. Supplies there were plentiful, with employees steadily restocking the water aisle.

Walmart management told News 6 Walmart has opened its emergency operations center at its headquarters in Arkansas for distribution.

Walmart spokesperson Ragan Dickens said the company is working with store managers to see where the needs are greatest. Dickens also said 800 trucks full of only water are on their way to Florida and other trucks full of hurricane supplies are also en route.

Pictures on social media showed empty water and bread shelves at other stores, including the Walmart on Alafaya Trail near UCF.

Min Cho said he’s preparing for his electricity to go out.

“(I) ordered a generator on Amazon. Should be coming on Friday. Also, some dry foods and stuff like that,” Cho said.

People are urged to fill their gas tanks before gas stations could see long lines and a supply shortage.

Cash will also be essential in the case of a power outage since ATMs would not be able to operate and businesses would not be able to process credit cards.  (Click to Site)

 

French official reports 2 dead as Irma lashes Caribbean

Florida is urging evacuations as the Category 5 storm makes its way to the U.S.

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Hurricane Irma, a record-breaking storm barreling its way through the Caribbean, is forcing evacuations as Florida preps for the worst.

Follow along for updates (all times ET).

3:30 p.m. French official reports 2 dead

France’s overseas minister is reporting at least two people are dead and two seriously injured after Irma crossed French-administered Saint Martin and St. Barthelemy.

In a translated report from French broadcaster BFMTV, Annick Girardin said communications are just beginning to return and lessening winds will make air reconnaissance easier.

Early reports suggested damage on parts of the smaller islands — a tropical region popular with tourists.

Barbuda, home to about 1,600 people, was “so badly damaged that there is no communication” from the island, said Keithley Meade, director of a meteorological office in Antigua and Barbuda.

“We have a lot of broken trees across the island,” Meade said from Antigua, whose 80,000 people comprise most of the two-island nation’s population.
Irma destroyed four of the most solid government buildings on the French-administered portion of nearby St. Martin, an island of about 75,000 people, French Interior Minister Gérard Collomb said Wednesday in Paris.

It’s likely that all other older buildings there have at least been damaged, he said.

Roughly 10 of these smaller islands — such as St. Martin, Antigua and Barbuda, and St. Kitts and Nevis — were pounded by hurricane conditions. One, Guadeloupe, has about 405,000 residents. The rest have about 264,400 people combined.

2 p.m. Irma shows no signs of slowing

Heavy rain and 185-mph winds lashed the Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico’s northeast coast Wednesday as Hurricane Irma roared through Caribbean islands on its way to a possible hit on South Florida.

The U.S. National Weather Service said Puerto Rico — a US territory of about 3.4 million people — had not seen a hurricane of Irma’s magnitude since Hurricane San Felipe in 1928, which killed a total of 2,748 people in Guadeloupe, Puerto Rico and Florida.

Georgia’s Gov. Nathan Deal declared states of emergency in six coastal counties in the afternoon. Florida and South Carolina have already done the same for their entire states.

“The dangerousness of this event is like nothing we’ve ever seen,” Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello said. “A lot of infrastructure won’t be able to withstand this kind of force.”

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Irma’s winds would fluctuate, but the storm would likely remain at Category 4 or 5 for the next day or two as it roared past Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba, the Turks & Caicos and parts of the Bahamas.

The strongest Atlantic Ocean hurricane ever measured destroyed homes and flooded streets across a chain of small islands in the northern Caribbean, passing directly over Barbuda and leaving the island of some 1,700 people incommunicado.

France sent emergency food and water rations to the French islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, where Irma ripped off roofs and knocked out all electricity. Dutch marines who flew to three Dutch islands hammered by Irma reported extensive damage but no deaths or injuries.

While France received no immediate reports of casualties, the minister for French overseas territories, Annick Girardin, said: “We have a lot to fear for a certain number of our compatriots who unfortunately didn’t want to listen to the protection measures and go to more secure sites … We’re preparing for the worst.”

By early Wednesday afternoon the center of the storm was east-southeast of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands and east of San Juan, Puerto Rico and heading west-northwest at 16 mph.

1:30 p.m. ‘Eerie but beautiful’

Among the people hunkered down ahead of Hurricane Irma is Richard Branson, the head of the Virgin Group.

Branson owns small Necker island in the British Virgin Islands and he’s posted a blog entry saying he and friends have “experienced a night of howling wind and rain as Hurricane Irma edges ever closer.”

He says “the atmosphere is eerie but beautiful.”

Like many in the region, Branson says he and his group will shelter indoors as the storm hits, though his guests may have it better than most. They’re headed for a concrete wine cellar.

He adds: “I suspect there will be little wine left in the cellar when we all emerge.”

12:37 p.m. State of emergency in South Carolina

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster has declared a state of emergency in to help prepare for a possible strike early next week from Irma.

McMaster made the declaration Wednesday after the National Hurricane Center’s forecast on Irma’s track shifted east, putting the prospect of a major hurricane just off the coast of Florida about 200 miles away from Charleston by Monday morning.

The declaration allows the state to begin certain preparations for an emergency and allows McMaster to use the National Guard if necessary.

South Carolina evacuated much of its coast in October when Hurricane Matthew skirted the shoreline before coming ashore just north of Charleston.

The last major hurricane to hit South Carolina was Hugo in September 1989 with winds of 135 mph.

11:45 a.m. Irma’s destruction

Some of the first images of the devastation wrought by Irma are coming out after the storm blew through the eastern Caribbean. See the destruction in the video below.

At midday, the storm was nearing the Virgin Islands.

10:51 a.m. More warnings as Irma churns through Caribbean

As Irma continues through the Caribbean, the eye of the “potentially catastrophic” hurricane is closing in on the Virgin Islands, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A hurricane warning has been newly issued for the north coast of Haiti near its border with the Dominican Republic and a tropical storm warning for coastal areas further south.

Maximum winds remain at 185 miles per hour.

Elsewhere, Tropical Storm Jose in the eastern Atlantic is expected to gradually strengthen and form into a hurricane. In the southwestern Gulf of Mexico, Tropical Storm Katia is expected to hit the Mexican state of Veracruz.

9:45 a.m. Gov. Scott gives update

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Hurricane Irma is stronger and bigger than Hurricane Andrew was and urged residents to follow evacuation orders.

Scott said a mandatory evacuation for tourists in the Florida Keys began on Wednesday. He said an evacuation order will start on Thursday for residents. He said other areas may also announce evacuation orders.

“Get out quickly,” Scott said in a Wednesday morning news conference. “I can’t stress this enough. Know your evacuation zone.”

He said the state is working to bring more fuel to gas stations and get supplies to stores so residents can be prepared. Photos on Tuesday showed long lines at gas stations and empty store shelves.

The storm appears as though it will make landfall in Florida late Sunday night or early Monday morning. Scott said the storm surge is the biggest concern for Florida.

Scott has also activated 1,000 Florida National Guard members and said that by Friday, all 6,000 available National Guard members may be asked to report for duty.

Scott said state offices will be closed on Friday.

8 a.m. Hurricane Irma continues over Caribbean islands

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history bore down on the islands of the northeast Caribbean early Wednesday, following a path predicted to then rake Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Wednesday the state is anticipating additional evacuation orders as the storm gets closer.

“Do not sit and wait for this storm to come. Remember, we can rebuild your home – not your life.,” Scott said.

Hurricane Irma hit Barbuda at 2:00 a.m. EST, thrashing it with high winds as it marched on to other islands along its path on the Caribbean.

The massive Category 5 storm packed winds of up to 185 mph, the US National Hurricane Center said. It aimed at several islands, including Puerto Rico, Antigua, St. Kitts and Nevis, and the US Virgin Islands.

In the US Virgin Islands, Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp ordered a 36-hour curfew starting Wednesday at 6 a.m. local time.

“The beginning of the curfew coincides with the expected arrival of heavy rain and strong winds associated with Irma,” he said in a statement.

By 8:00 a.m. EST, Irma’s had made its way over the island of St. Martin, while the eye wall is pounded Anguilla.

President Donald Trump tweeted Wednesday morning that his team is already in place in Florida should Irma make landfall.

Overnight details on Hurricane Irma:

5 a.m.

As Hurricane Irma continues to roar across the Caribbean on a path toward Florida, a new tropical storm has formed in the Gulf of Mexico.

Tropical Storm Katia formed early Wednesday off the coast of Mexico.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Katia’s maximum sustained winds are near 40 mph with some strengthening forecast over the next two days. But the hurricane center says Katia is expected to stay offshore through Friday morning.

The storm is centered about 105 miles east of Tampico, Mexico, and is moving east-southeast near 2 mph.

4:00 a.m.

French authorities have ordered inhabitants to remain confined to their house and not go out under any circumstances in the French Caribbean islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy because of Hurricane Irma.

The French ministry of Interior has issued the highest possible alert for both islands of French overseas because they appear to be in the middle of the path of the dangerous Category 5 storm.

Schools, public services and ports have been closed.

Authorities recommend the population stay in the safest room of the house and get prepared for power cuts and disruption in the supply of water.

Two other French Caribbean islands of Guadeloupe and Martinique have been placed under a more moderate alert.

___

3:20 a.m.

Officials in the island chain south of the Florida mainland are expected to announce evacuations as Hurricane Irma moves west through the Caribbean toward the state.

Officials in the Florida Keys say they expect to announce a mandatory evacuation for visitors starting Wednesday and for residents starting Thursday.

The Category 5 hurricane is expected to reach Florida by the weekend. On Wednesday morning it was about 40 miles north of Antigua.

People in South Florida raided store shelves, buying up water and other hurricane supplies. Long lines formed at gas stations and people pulled shutters out of storage and put up plywood to protect their homes and businesses.

2:00 a.m.

The most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history has made its first landfall in the islands of the northeast Caribbean.

The National Weather Service said the eye of Hurricane Irma passed over Barbuda around 1:47 a.m. Residents said over local radio that phone lines went down as the eye passed.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma was maintaining Category 5 strength with sustained winds near 185 mph and heading west-northwest on a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba before possibly heading for Florida over the weekend.

“Anguilla, all the way toward (Antigua and) Barbuda, all the way up even toward the British Virgin Islands (are) in grave danger of an eye wall hit at (at least) 150 mph — that devastates the island, no matter what island it is,” CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said Tuesday.

10:15 p.m. (Tuesday)

Bahamian Prime Minister Hubert Minnis says his government has ordered a mandatory evacuation of islands in the southern part of the island chain because of Hurricane Irma.

Minnis says the Category 5 storm poses a dire threat to the islands of Mayaguana, Inagua, Crooked Island, Acklins, Long Cay and Ragged Island.

People who live on the islands will be flown Wednesday to Nassau on the island of New Providence. Minnis says it will be the largest hurricane evacuation in the history of the Bahamas.

People who don’t evacuate will be at “great danger” from storm surge caused by what he called a “monster” hurricane. Minnis says emergency personnel may not be available to rescue them when the storm is at its height between Thursday and Friday.

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8:10 p.m.

President Donald Trump has declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as Hurricane Irma prepares for landfall.

The declarations authorize the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in those places.
The dangerous Category 5 storm is wielding the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean. It is on a path that could take it toward Florida over the weekend.

Irma’s size and strength put the entire state on notice Tuesday. Residents and visitors prepared to leave in anticipation of catastrophic winds and floods.

Puerto Rico’s governor is also warning that the effects of Hurricane Irma could be catastrophic and calling the storm more dangerous than Hurricane Harvey.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. (Click to Site)

Hurricane Irma Public Advisory

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000
WTNT31 KNHC 051742
TCPAT1

BULLETIN
Hurricane Irma Intermediate Advisory Number 26A
NWS National Hurricane Center Miami FL AL112017
200 PM AST Tue Sep 05 2017

…POTENTIALLY CATASTROPHIC CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA HEADING
TOWARD THE LEEWARD ISLANDS…
…PREPARATIONS SHOULD BE NEARING COMPLETION IN THE EASTERNMOST
LEEWARD ISLANDS…

 

SUMMARY OF 200 PM AST…1800 UTC…INFORMATION
———————————————-
LOCATION…16.9N 59.1W
ABOUT 180 MI…290 KM E OF ANTIGUA
ABOUT 185 MI…295 KM ESE OF BARBUDA
MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS…185 MPH…295 KM/H
PRESENT MOVEMENT…W OR 275 DEGREES AT 14 MPH…22 KM/H
MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE…926 MB…27.34 INCHES

 

WATCHES AND WARNINGS
——————–
CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

None

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT: (Click to Site)

Panic Prepping Begins In Florida As Irma Looms

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Authored by Michael Snyder via The Economic Collapse blog,

On Monday, Hurricane Irma strengthened into a category 4 hurricane, and today became an “extremely dangerous” category 5 hurricane,with some meteorologists are projecting that it will remain so until it eventually makes landfall in the United States.  And since a “category 6” has not been created yet, category 5 is as high as the scale goes at the moment.

Over the past couple of days, the track of the storm has shifted “a lot further to the west”, and at this point it appears that Miami is the most likely to take the full force of the hurricane.  But as we have seen, trying to forecast the behavior of hurricanes is not an exact science.  Irma may never become a category 5 storm, and it may never hit the U.S. at all.  Or it may zip past Florida to the south and end up making landfall in the Gulf of Mexico.  The truth is that we just don’t know.  (Click to Site)

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Threat Increasing for Cuba, Florida from Intensifying Irma

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September 4, 2017, 4:36 PM

Above: Visible-wavelength satellite image of Hurricane Irma as of 15Z (11 am EDT) Monday, September 4, 2017. Image credit: RAMMB / CIRA @ CSU.

Dangerous Hurricane Irma was intensifying as it approached the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Monday morning, and island residents in the path of Irma need to rush preparations to completion as the storm heads west-southwest at 14 mph. A NOAA hurricane hunter aircraft in the storm found that Irma’s central pressure was steadily dropping Monday morning, reaching 944 mb at 11 am EDT. Irma’s top sustained winds are estimated at 120 mph, and winds may not yet have fully responded to this pressure drop. Update: Based on Hurricane Hunter measurements, NHC raised Irma’s top sustained winds at 5:00 pm EDT to 130 mph, making it a Category 4 storm. Irma is expected to be a major Category 4 hurricane when it passes very close to the northern Lesser Antilles Islands on Tuesday, near Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands on Wednesday, and the Turks and Caicos Islands and Hispaniola on Thursday. As of 5 pm EDT Monday, Hurricane Warnings are in effect for the northern Leeward Islands, and Hurricane Watches are up for the U.S. and British Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico. (Click to Site)

Is the US Under Attack From Manufactured Weather Events?

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Many credible people are asking the question as to whether the United Stated is under attack from manufactured weather events?

The first question that any reasonable person may ask as if the technology exists? The answer is a simple “without quetion”. Does that necessarily mean that Hurricane Harvey was a manufactured event tied to some nefarious purpose? It certainly does not follow that because the technology exists, that the use of proven weather modification is a given (ie “Air Force Owning the Weather 2025).

Making the Case for a Manufactured Weather Event

Dean Wigington has provided one of the most lucid accounts of why Hurrican Harvey is a manufactured weather event:

From: Dane Wigington   GeoengineeringWatch.org

“Hurricane Harvey is the latest example of covert weather warfare being waged on completely unsuspecting populations. Increasingly catastrophic climate cataclysms are being orchestrated and manipulated by an ever more desperate and aggressive global power structure. Rapidly accelerating climate and biosphere collapse is not somewhere on the horizon, it is here, now. Climate engineering is further fueling the unraveling of the remaining web of life on our once thriving planet. (Click to Site)