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Hurricane Irma Named Most Powerful Storm in Atlantic Ocean Ever
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CNN created a five-day map of where Hurricane Irma is expected to head.

Summary: Hurricane Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.

Almost two weeks after Hurricane Harvey ravaged Texas, Hurricane Irma is expected to hit Florida this weekend. According to CBS News, Irma has strengthened to a Category 5 storm; its winds reaching up to 185 mph. On Tuesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said that Irma is the most powerful storm ever recorded in the Atlantic Ocean.

  
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The storm is expected to hit the Florida Straits over the weekend, and Professor Kerry Emmanuel from MIT said that storms could eventually reach 225 mph.

“People who are living there (the Florida Keys) or have property there are very scared, and they should be,” Emanuel said.

Officials in the Florida Keys have taken the hurricane warnings seriously and issued mandatory evacuations starting at sunrise Wednesday. All government offices, parks, and schools will be closed and the county’s three hospitals will also shut down.

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“For the Florida Keys, if you were to create the worst case scenario that is what we are looking at,” Monroe County Emergency Operations Center Director Martin Senterfitt said to CBS Miami. “We’re emphatically telling people you must evacuate; you can not afford to stay on an island with a Category 5 hurricane coming at you.”

Hurricane Irma has become so strong that it has shown up on earthquake readers, according to The Independent, and the storm has caused Florida, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands to declare a state of emergency.



The exact path of the storm is uncertain, according to Florida’s governor Rick Scott, but he said that the hurricane could affect millions in his state.

“Do not ignore evacuation orders,” Scott said during a Wednesday press conference. “Remember: We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life.”

While Scott is urging Florida citizens to seek cover, one local sheriff has caused an uproar after he threatened to arrest those who showed up to shelters and had outstanding warrants, according to Newsweek.

“If you go to a shelter for #Irma, be advised: sworn [law enforcement officers] will be at every shelter, checking IDs. Sex offenders/predators will not be allowed,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd tweeted. “If you go to a shelter for #Irma and you have a warrant, we’ll gladly escort you to the safe and secure shelter called the Polk County Jail.”

It is unclear if Judd will make good on his promise, but he has a reputation for his tough tactics.

So far, Hurricane Irma has torn up the northern Virgin Islands and is heading for Puerto Rico on Wednesday afternoon. Puerto Rico’s Governor Ricardo Rosselló urged his citizens to seek shelter, according to CNN.

“Please allow us to help you seek refuge in shelter, and let people know the priority is to weather the storm (and) seek safe haven,” Rossello said.

On Thursday, Irma is predicted to move north to the Dominican Republic’s and Haiti’s northern coasts and then Turks and Caicos islands and the southeastern Bahamas at night.

Meanwhile, Texas is still reeling from Hurricane Harvey. According to The Independent, that storm caused almost $180 million in damages, and President Donald Trump has requested $7.9 billion in government relief.

Will you be affected by Hurricane Irma? Let us know in the comments below.



 

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