- Hurricane Irma is expected to make landfall in southern Florida by early Sunday morning
- Miami is expected to bear the brunt of Irma, a Category 5 storm clocking 150mph winds
- An estimated 1.4 million people are under evacuation in Florida and Georgia
- Florida Gov. Rick Scott said residents under evacuation in southern coastal areas need to leave by midnight
- Since evacuation orders were issued, there’s been heavy traffic on all northbound highways
- The storm has the potential to do $125billion worth of damage when it strikes Miami – and possibly much more
- Irma has caused devastation in the Caribbean, killing at least 24 and leveling entire islands
- Extensive damage has been reported on Barbuda and St Martin, with over 90 per cent of buildings wrecked
- The storm is currently battering the northern coast of Cuba
Hurricane Irma is once again forecast to hit the Florida Keys as a Category 5 storm, as more than a million people have fled its path and abandoned their homes.
Meteorologists expect the powerful hurricane to hit the Sunshine State between 5am and 7am ET on Sunday.
‘Obviously Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the United States,’ Brock Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), said at a press conference Friday morning. ‘We’re going to have a couple rough days.’
The storm was first downgraded from a Category 5 to a Category 4 earlier on Friday morning, but as of 5pm ET on Friday, it is predicted to hit the U.S. as a Category 5. This will only be the fourth time ever a Category 5 has hit US mainland.
As of 6.30pm ET Friday, the hurricane is moving west at 12 mph and located 345 miles southeast of Miami.
Government officials along with the National Hurricane Center have cautioned that Irma is ‘extremely dangerous’ with maximum sustained winds of 155 mph. That’s strong enough to bring down power poles, uproot trees and rip the roofs off of homes.
In preparation for what is predicted to be the most powerful hurricane to hit the United States in years, an estimated 1.4million people have been given mandatory evacuation orders in both Florida and Georgia.
The above map shows Hurricane Irma’s current projected track towards the U.S. and up the state of Florida this weekend
Boarded up buildings are seen in preparation of Hurricane Irma during a mandatory evacuation in Miami Beach, Florida on Friday