Hurricane Irma: Florida Braces for Storm Arrival
Albanian Daily News
Published September 10, 2017
Miami skyline as outer bands of Irma reach southern Florida. Photo: 9 September 2017Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES Image caption The outer bands of Irma have already reached Miami
Hurricane Irma has strengthened to a category four storm as it nears Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 130mph (209km/h).
Wind gusts close to hurricane force are already battering islands in Florida's south, with the mainland due to be hit in the coming hours.
Water levels are already rising on the coast of the US state where a huge storm surge is expected.
At least 25 people died when Irma earlier hit several Caribbean islands.
In Florida, 6.3 million people - about 30% of the state's population - had been told to evacuate. But on Saturday, the state governor said it was now too late to leave for anyone remaining.
The National Hurricane Center has issued warnings against "life-threatening" storm surges in the Florida Keys - a chain of small islands in Florida's south - as well as Tampa Bay and other coastal areas.
More than 200,000 homes in the state have been affected by power outages, with 164,000 outages in Miami Dade county alone, according to utilities company Florida Power & Light.



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