Widespread and prolonged power outages will become part of life for most Floridians over the next few days as Hurricane Irma has started to make an anticipated northern turn that will result in a destructive run through the state starting Sunday.

Image: NOAA

Powerful Hurricane Irma is racing toward a direct impact with South Florida by early Sunday. Forecasters say the storm poses a “potentially catastrophic threat” to the Florida Keys and other parts of our state, with hurricane and storm surge warnings and watches already in effect on both the Gulf and Atlantic coasts.

South Florida came under a hurricane watch Thursday. That meant Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez got briefed on Hurricane Irma’s storm surge potential - and the data Gimenez heard prompted him to broaden the county’s area of mandatory evacuation.

Irma could hit Miami directly Sunday morning with destructive Category 4-force winds. As a result, Gimenez had already ordered a mandatory (but voluntary) evacuation for residents closest to shore – Zone A.

Irma To Travel Up Center of Florida

Sep 8, 2017

Hurricane Irma though weakening some overnight to 155 mph is expected to remain a Category 4 until landfall in south Florida on Sunday, remaining a strong hurricane.

Irma's Track Shifts West Slightly

Sep 7, 2017

There has been a notable shift in the forecast track of Hurricane Irma, as of the 5 pm advisory from the National Hurricane Center. It's important to remember not to focus on that center line, it's still too soon to focus on the specifics. Hurricane Watches have been issued for from Jupiter Inlet to Bonita Beach and all inland areas in between with Storm Surge Watches also in effect for all coastal areas in that same region.