Hurricane Irma Being Viewed as a 'Very Significant Event'


The storm is expected to strengthen over the next 48 hours as it churns west toward Puerto Rico, where a hurricane watch is in effect.

The storm has gone from strength to strength over the past few days, and was officially declared a Category 5 storm by the U.S. National Hurricane Center at 8 a.m. Tuesday.

Durda said South Florida should begin to feel the effects of Irma by Friday.

If Irma makes landfall as a Category 4, it would be the first time in 102 years that two such hurricanes have hit the United States in the same year within a span of two weeks.

Hurricane Irma strengthened to 120 mph sustained winds by Monday morning and became a Category 4 storm hours later.

Hurricane Irma is already affecting Puerto Rico as they also declared a State of Emergency Monday ahead of the category 4 storm that is predicted to hit the USA territory Wednesday.

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He added: "I don't mind taking the heat for being cautious, but I don't want to take the heat for being foolish". "[The water] receded late Sunday, maybe early Monday", he said.

The U.S. Hurricane Center said as of Monday afternoon, Irma had winds of 130 miles per hour.

According to the advisory: "There is an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys later this week and this weekend". The storm could affect Florida on Sunday.

In the Caribbean, hurricane warnings were issued for 12 island groups, including the British Virgin Islands, where the governor urged people to evacuate the tiny island of Anegada if they could ahead of the storm.

"Nobody can tell you exactly where that northward turn is going to occur", Local 10 News hurricane specialist Max Mayfield said.

Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday in all of the state's 67 counties in response to Irma.

Governor of Baja California Sur, Carlos Mendoza has reported that Tropical Storm Lidia had dumped around 27 inches of heavy rain, "the largest amount of water we have had since 1933". Models still consistently show Irma turning to the north with "possible significant impacts to this region early next week".