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Big Change to Irma Surge Forecast for Tampa Bay, Southwest Florida

10 September, 2017, 09:24 | Author: Priscilla Morrison
  • At least 1.4 million in Fla. ordered to flee

Feltgen said the storm has a really wide eye, with hurricane-force winds that cover the entire Florida peninsula and potentially deadly storm surges on both coasts.

Irma weakened slightly to Category 3 after making landfall in Cuba early Saturday, according to the US National Hurricane Center (NHC).

Hurricane Irma on Saturday smashed into Cuba and the Bahamas as it drove towards Florida after hitting the eastern Caribbean with a devastatingly high wind. It is now expected to track just west of the Florida gulf coast before making landfall sometime on Sunday afternoon at an undetermined point between Venice and Tampa Sunday evening.

"This is your last chance to make a good decision", he added.

"It's going to go faster than you are", he warned.

Storm surge flooding will also slam the western coast of Florida, especially in areas south of Tampa.

For the moment, it appears that the heavily populated cities in the Miami metro area - Miami, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and West Palm Beach - have dodged the bullet of a direct hit, which is what had fueled forecasters' main concerns for most of the past week.

Meanwhile, President Donald Trump and his Cabinet were meeting Saturday at the presidential retreat in Camp David, Maryland, to discuss the hurricane. The White House released a video of his remarks.




The hurricane made landfall on the Sabana-Camaguey Archipelago, in Cuba's north-east, late on Friday as a category five storm but has now weakened to a category three. "Nowhere in the Florida Keys will be safe!"

Most residents who intend to evacuate have already done so. "If you're in an evacuation zone, leave".

"FEMA's got a reservist workforce that we call into action when we need them". According to CBS, there were few gas stations still open in Key West and Marathon as of Friday.

Since it crossed over land about 25 miles south of Miami, Andrew's small size meant that it spared the city and its pricey, waterfront real estate of its worst winds. Across Florida and Georgia, about 1.4 million people were ordered to leave their homes, clogging interstates as far away as Atlanta.

But space remained for last-minute decision-makers: As of Saturday afternoon local time, only 16 of 42 shelters were reported full. He asked for about 1,000 to help at various shelters.

Hurricane Irma shifted track and took aim at southwestern Florida, raising the risk of severe damage in Tampa and other cities facing the Gulf of Mexico, in what could end up being the most expensive storm in US history.

The storm has already left at least 22 people dead and thousands homeless across the Caribbean, and threatens to rack up as much as $200 billion in damages. Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne estimates reconstruction will cost $100m (£80m). That leaves numerous 40,000 residents reliant on public shelters as they brace for Hurricane Jose.

Residents of Barbuda, left the island as Jose approached but it is no longer expected to hit.

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