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BREAKING: State of Emergency Declared in Florida

With Hurricane Irma upgraded to a Category 4 storm and on a path that could steer toward Florida, Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in Florida.

Weather.com reports:

… The vast majority of the forecast guidance indicates Irma will begin to turn more to the north by this weekend. The strength and expansiveness of the Bermuda-Azores high over the Atlantic Ocean and the timing, depth and location of a southward dip in the jet stream near the eastern U.S. will dictate where that northward turn occurs.

For now, all residents along the Southeast coast and eastern Gulf Coast, including Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas, should monitor the progress of Irma closely.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) said in its advisory late Monday afternoon that the chances of Irma affecting parts of Florida later this week or this weekend are increasing. In addition, rough surf and dangerous boating conditions will exist throughout the southeastern U.S. coastline by late week.

Destructive winds, storm-surge inundation, pounding surf and heavy rainfall could all be potential threats from Irma in the southeast U.S. Determining where those impacts will occur and how serious they may be is too early to determine.

Projected Path

The red-shaded area denotes the potential path of the center of the tropical cyclone. Note that impacts (particularly heavy rain, high surf, coastal flooding) with any tropical cyclone may spread beyond its forecast path.

Fox News reports:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency in the state as rapidly growing Hurricane Irma, now a Category 4 storm, is expected to make landfall later this week.

The state of emergency has been issued for all of Florida’s 67 counties. Scott said that the state would “prepare for the worst and hope for the best” as Irma is expected to hit the state around Friday.

The governor tweeted Monday that he urges “all Floridians to remain vigilant and stay alert to local weather and news and visit FLGetAPlan.com today to get prepared.”

“Hurricane Irma poses a severe threat to the entire State of Florida and requires that timely precautions are taken to protect the communities, critical infrastructure, and general welfare of this State,” the executive order stated.

Scott suggested on Twitter that state residents should use their Labor Day to prepare for Irma’s arrival.

The announcement came after Puerto Rico’s governor issued a state of emergency Monday. Irma is expected to hit the northwest Caribbean Tuesday, where government workers are preparing for the storm to make landfall.

Emergency officials have warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet as the storm draws closer.

If Irma makes landfall as a Category 4, it’ll be the first time in 102 years that two Category 4 hurricanes made landfall in the U.S. within the same year, according to KOCO.

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