Irma's peak intensity so far ranks among the strongest in recorded history, exceeding the likes of Katrina, Andrew and Camille - whose winds peaked at 175 miles per hour.
As Scott warned residents if his state, President Trump approved the Governor's request to declare a "pre-landfall emergency" for the entire state.
Most models have Hurricane Irma heading toward Florida or up the East Coast, but New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu isn't taking any chances. It's a potentially devastating hurricane, and with severe impacts from wind, storm surge, and possibly also rainfall.
France voiced concern on Wednesday about thousands of people who are refusing to seek shelter from hurricane Irma on the French Caribbean islands of Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy.
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Tropical Update on Hurricane Irma: As of 5pm on Tuesday, Hurricane Irma has strengthened even more, with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, making it an extremely risky Category 5 storm and one of strongest hurricanes ever in the Atlantic!
So, at this stage, what we're looking for is impacts on South Florida most likely over the weekend, perhaps beginning on Saturday, with the worst of it to be on Sunday.
Reports from the United States National Hurricane Center in Miami described the hurricane as life-threatening for the United States, including Puerto Rico, the USA and British Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the south-eastern Bahamas.
Watches, typically issued 48 hours before a storm is expected to hit, were in effect for the provinces of Matanzas eastward to Guantanamo in Cuba.
As Hurricane Irma strengths in preparation for a possible landfall in the Southeast, local emergency response officials are warning against making preparations simply for the storm's immediate strike.
Hurricane Irma is a very real, powerful Category 5 storm that could soon target the Caribbean islands and South Florida.
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