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Scott Declares Emergency as Hurricane Irma Heads Toward Florida UPDATED

Scott Declares Emergency as Hurricane Irma Heads Toward Florida UPDATED
National Hurricane Center
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Update: The 8 a.m. update from the National Hurricane Center shows Irma has intensified to 175 mph. The forecast path moved westward some, which, according to Weather Underground, increases "the chance that Irma will directly affect Hispaniola and especially Cuba... The shift also raises the odds for a U.S. landfall considerably."

Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared an emergency in all of Florida's 67 counties as the projected path for Hurricane Irma moved south and took aim at the Caribbean and perhaps Miami.

“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm, and Florida must be prepared,” Scott said in a statement.

Also on Monday, American Airlines cancelled flights from Miami to several destinations in the Caribbean.

According to the 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center, Irma is moving west at 13 mph and has 140 mph winds — strong by any measure. It is expected to strengthen over the next 36 hours before weakening slightly. It would skirt the northern edge of the Dominican Republic and Cuba and then perhaps make its way toward Texas, which was recently decimated by Hurricane Harvey — though long-term forecasts are often inaccurate.

According to the advisory: "There is an increasing chance of seeing some impacts from Irma in
the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys later this week and this weekend. Otherwise, it is still too early to determine what direct impacts Irma might have on the continental United States. However, everyone in hurricane-prone areas should ensure that they have their hurricane plan in place."

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