Hurricane Irma Will Be Dangerous No Matter Where It Makes Landfall

Hurricane Irma

Mark Albert

Scott Wells, emergency management coordinator for Medtronic, said intangibles that can come about as a result of hurricanes and other weather events need to be weighed as heavily as immediate response plans.

Tropical Storm Jose is located east of Hurricane Irma, and is expected to become a hurricane Thursday.

In the US state of Florida, Governor Rick Scott also declared an emergency across the entire state in order to give local authorities time to prepare for a potential landfall.

Irma was a Category 5 storm as of Tuesday, tracking toward landfall in Florida later this week. Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez said Tuesday that officials may ask some residents to begin evacuating as early as Wednesday.

Tropical Update on Hurricane Irma: As of 5pm on Tuesday, Hurricane Irma has strengthened even more, with sustained winds of 185 miles per hour, making it an extremely risky Category 5 storm and one of strongest hurricanes ever in the Atlantic!

"We're preparing, but short of a miracle, someone will get hit hard", he said.

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At the far northeastern edge of the Caribbean, authorities on the Leeward Islands of Antigua and Barbuda cut power and urged residents to shelter indoors as they braced for Hurricane Irma's first contact with land early Wednesday.

The National Hurricane Center continues to plot a similar path, with the storm running right through the Caribbean and ending up close to south Florida by Sunday.

Irma's current strength means areas in the hurricane's path could be hit with "potentially catastrophic" force and it's expected to maintain Category 4 or 5 strength for days as it makes its way across the Caribbean.

With Hurricane Irma now a Category 5 storm, officials are warning people about the impending storm.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma was maintaining sustained winds near 185 miles per hour as it lashed the Leeward Islands with exceptionally strong winds and heavy rain and was heading west-northwest on a path toward Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba. The hurricane center expects Irma to reach southern Florida on Saturday.

"I'm fully confident in our preparedness, should it land here", he said. All 7,000 National Guard members in Florida will be active on Friday.

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