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Prepare, evacuate and pray, Hurricane Irma is going to be a killer storm
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Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous category 5 storm, and one of the most powerful ever recorded. It has maximum sustained winds over 185 mph, and gusts that can be over 220 mph. People in the path of this storm are warned to prepare, evacuate and take great precautions as Irma is certain to be a killer. The storm is now forecast to track up the center of Florida.
Damage from Hurricane Andrew in 1992.
LOS ANGELES, CA (California Network) -- People are advised to take Hurricane Irma seriously as the storm approaches landfall in the United States. It is now impacting Puerto Rico, and is projected to pass though the Bahamas, remaining just north of the Cuban coast. It is likely to hit the Florida Keys directly, and could track up the center of the state.
If the storm tracks up the center of the state, Orlando could be hit directly. The storm may do more damage than Hurricane Andrew did in 1992.
Irma's winds are now in excess of 185 mph, and are likely to intensify to record levels. A claim that Irma will become a category 6 storm is an urban legend, as there is no such thing as a category six storm. If Irma breaks the 190-mph record for maximum sustained winds, it will not be by that much, possibly only by five or ten mph at the most. However, such wind is powerful enough to destroy any unreinforced structure, to fill the air with debris, and to batter even well-built structures with all manner of objects. Outdoor travel will be impossible during the height of the storm.
The storm will also deliver storm surges on shore, which will cause extensive flooding. Fortunately in Florida, many structures are built high for such situations. However, less well-built structures are likely to sustain substantial damage. Tornadoes spawned by Irma have the possibility of destroying entire neighborhoods.
So far, public officials are telling people to prepare. Evacuations have been ordered in the Florida Keys and around the southern tip of the state where Irma is almost certain to strike.
In the air, Pope Francis' flight was forced to change course on its way to Colombia.
No deaths have been attributed to Irma yet, but it is still early and Irma only made landfall yesterday over the Leeward Islands. Most places are still recovering and taking stock. Within the next couple days, casualties are expected.
Hurricane Harvey is responsible for 60 deaths in Texas while the storm was only a category 3. Harvey was deadly because of the flooding it caused. It is hoped that Irma, with its faster movement, combined with Florida's preparations, will not kill as many people, but some fatalities are to be expected.
Prepare, evacuate, and pray is all that's left as this historic storm bears down on the people of the Caribbean and Florida.
Behind Irma is Tropical Storm Jose, but experts think Jose will turn north before hitting the United States.
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