Hurricane Irma predicted to hit south Florida head on
After the latest predictions for Irma’s path were released last night at 11 p.m. and this morning at 8 a.m., most south Floridians are packing up their cars and joining thousands of others in a mass exodus out of the state.
Irma is set to hit south Florida on Sunday morning at 8 a.m. as a major category 4 hurricane.
The Florida Keys are expected to bear the brunt end of her forces, but south Florida too will experience Irma at her most powerful.
Mandatory evacuations have been ordered for almost all southeast coast cities, with Collier and Lee counties beginning to evacuate barrier islands and other vulnerable, low-lying areas today.
While Irma has weakened as she crossed over the Caribbean and Puerto Rico, her 165 mph winds still threaten to decimate the Florida Keys before she strikes the tip of the peninsula almost dead center.
Irma is expected to hold her high level winds as she crosses over land and the warm waters of the Everglades, but by the time she reaches the center of the state, she is expected to have dwindled to a category 2 hurricane.
Irma will only deteriorate as she moves farther inland, hitting Georgia as a low level tropical cyclone.
Nevertheless, Irma is expected to bring massive devastation to the areas she will strike this weekend.
Meteorologists predict that Irma will be much worse than Hurricane Andrew, which hit Florida as a category 5 with 175 mph winds and almost leveled the city of Homestead.
What makes Irma so much more dangerous is the sheer size of her diameter and the projected path she is expected to take.
Irma will be traveling over some of the most densely populated parts of Florida. Miami is home to almost 6 million people and hundreds of high rises, all of which are expected to take a beating should Irma’s path remain as predicted.
Beyond Miami, Irma has her sights set on other highly populated areas like Orlando and Jacksonville. Her path seems to take her straight through the heart of Florida, all the way from the Everglades up into the panhandle.
Even cities not in her direct line of fire can expect to be thrashed by her whip-like winds as she heads north, with her ultimate demise coming somewhere in central Tennessee.
“You’ve got to get out,” Gov. Rick Scott said this morning. “You can’t wait.”
Floridians should leave as soon as possible, before Irma’s arrival creates conditions too dangerous to drive through.
With her landfall only days away, it seems the time has come for Floridians to weather the storm.