Preparedness & Recovery

Hurricane Irma Strengthens to a Category 5 Storm

'Hurricane Irma is stronger. A monster hurricane.'

by Lance Dixon, Miami Herald / September 5, 2017
This Monday, Sept. 4, 2017, satellite image provided by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration shows Hurricane Irma nearing the eastern Caribbean. Hurricane Irma grew into a powerful Category 4 storm Monday. AP

(TNS) - South Florida remains in Hurricane Irma’s path as the Category 5 storm continued to move west early Tuesday.

At 8 a.m. Tuesday,  Irma had sustained winds of 175 mph and was moving toward the Leeward Islands at 14 mph.

"Hurricane Irma is stronger," said CBS4 meteorologist Lissette Gonzalez. "A monster hurricane."

Irma is expected to become stronger in the next two days, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The storm is expected to take a west-northwest turn on Tuesday night and will likely affect South Florida. Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency by Monday afternoon.

"Now is the time to prepare," Gonzalez said.

A tropical storm warning was issued for Dominca early Tuesday.

Hurricane watches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques and Culebra were  changed to hurricane warnings late Monday. The government of Antigua also upgraded the hurricane watch for the British Virgin Islands to a hurricane warning.

Guadeloupe is under a hurricane watch.

The storm is about about 320 miles east of the Leeward Islands and hurricane-force winds are extending 45 miles out from the storm’s center.

As with previous advisories, the NHC warned that hurricane conditions are expected within the hurricane warning areas by Tuesday night.

Lance Dixon: 305-376-3708, @LDixon_3

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