‘We’re running out of time’: Miami becomes a ghost town as Floridians anxiously wait bumper-to-bumper to flee Hurricane Irma after storm decimated islands and killed at least 18 in Caribbean

Friday, September 8, 2017
By Paul Martin

Meteorologists are now predicting that Miami will bear the brunt of Hurricane Irma when it hits the mainland
Millions are hitting the roads to get out of the eye of the storm, expected to make landfall Sunday morning in South Florida, with winds and storm surge as early as Saturday night
The entire southern tip of Florida is under evacuation, and the orders continue county by county all the way up the east coast of the state
The governor of Georgia has also ordered an evacuation of the state’s coastal areas, including Savannah
The storm has the potential to do $125billion worth of damage when it strikes Miami – and possibly much more
Category 4 storm has caused devastation in the Caribbean, killing at least 18 and leveling entire islands
Extensive damage has been reported on Barbuda and St Martin, with over 90 per cent of buildings wrecked
The storm is currently battering the northeastern coast of Cuba

8 September 2017

Miami is now in the ‘worst possible position’ as Hurricane Irma heads for the U.S. mainland.

With the storm barreling toward the southern tip of Florida for perhaps a catastrophic blow this weekend, the U.S. National Hurricane Center forecast reported that the most likely path of the eye of the storm had shifted and that it could hit Florida earlier than expected.

The center said it had become likely that Irma will make landfall late Saturday in southern Florida as a dangerous major hurricane and bring ‘life-threatening storm surge and wind impacts’ to much of the state.

‘It looks like it’s shifting, even though it may be just 20 miles, it puts Miami right in the worst possible position,’ CNN meteorologist Tom Sater said.

‘Because when you look at the formidable storm, the strongest winds, the strongest storm surge, the bands of heavy rain are always in that north, northeastern quadrant.’

Just before 5am ET Friday, the hurricane was centered about 55 miles northwest of Great Inagua Island and 495 miles southeast of Miami.

Irma weakened from a Category 5 storm to Category 4 on Friday morning with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph, but it remained a powerful hurricane and it could intensify again as it enters warmer than normal waters around Florida. Irma’s core is expected to hit Florida early Sunday morning, but its tropical force storm winds can arrive as early as Saturday morning.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami issued hurricane warnings for South Florida and the Keys late Thursday night as Irma tracks toward the state. A storm surge has also been issued for the same area.
Evacuation orders are in effect for the southern tip of Florida almost all the way up the east coast and for the Georgia coast.

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