Florida Bracing for Weekend Impact from Hurricane Irma

September 8, 2017, 11:18 AM HST · Updated September 8, 11:26 AM
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Residents across Florida are keeping a close eye on Hurricane Irma as it continues on a path towards the state this weekend. At 5 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. HST) on Friday, Sept. 8, 2017, the distinct eye of Hurricane Irma was located about 195 miles East of Caibarien, Cuba and 345 miles SE of Miami, Florida.

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    Irma has been moving toward the west near 12 mph, but the National Hurricane Center says the system should resume a WNW motion later today, with a turn toward the NW expected by late Saturday.

    On the forecast track, the eye of Irma should continue to move near the north coast of Cuba and the central Bahamas for the rest of today and Saturday, and be near the Florida Keys and the southern Florida Peninsula on Sunday morning.

    As of 5 p.m. EDT (11 a.m. HST), the NHC says Irma remained a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 155 mph.  Some fluctuations in intensity are likely to continue during the next day or two, but Irma is expected to remain a powerful category 4 hurricane as it approaches Florida this weekend.

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    According to the NHC, Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 70 miles from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.  The tropical storm wind radius in 185 miles, effectively posting a threat across the entire Florida peninsula from the east to west coast of the state.

    SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

    A Storm Surge Warning is in effect for…
    * Sebastian Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Venice
    * Florida Keys

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    A Storm Surge Watch is in effect for…
    * North of Sebastian Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia County line
    * North of Venice to Anclote River
    * Tampa Bay

    A Hurricane Warning is in effect for…
    * Sebastian Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Anna
    Maria Island
    * Florida Keys
    * Lake Okeechobee
    * Florida Bay
    * Southeastern Bahamas
    * Cuban provinces of Camaguey, Ciego de Avila, Sancti Spiritus, and
    Villa Clara
    * Central Bahamas
    * Northwestern Bahamas

    A Hurricane Watch is in effect for…
    * North of Sebastian Inlet to the Flagler/Volusia County Line
    * North of Anna Maria Island to the Suwannee River
    * Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, Las Tunas and Matanzas

    A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for…
    * Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, and Las Tunas

    Rep. Gabbard Votes to Send Federal Aid to Hurricane Victims;
    Ensure the Government Remains Open

    Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard (HI-02) today voted for H.R. 601, which provides over $15 billion in emergency federal aid to assist the victims of Hurricane Harvey, Hurricane Irma, and other extreme weather events throughout the country.

    The funding seeks to ensure FEMA can provide immediate emergency response and relief as well as longer-term recovery efforts. The bill also extends the federal debt limit and ensures that the government remains open and able to deliver services until Dec. 8, 2017.

    “National tragedies like Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma test our country’s resolve. With today’s funding bill, Congress came together, putting the American people before partisanship and politics, to support the emergency response and recovery efforts serving the people most affected by these disasters,” said Rep. Gabbard.

    “Since Hurricane Harvey hit, we have seen the aloha spirit coming from people all across the country who have turned out to support those struggling in the wake of this disaster.  We are reminded that when one part of the country faces adversity, our nation comes together and perseveres. In the last week, we have witnessed compassion from neighbors, bravery from first responders, and responsiveness from public institutions. As communities in Texas and Louisiana begin the process of recovery and renewal, the entire country sends its thoughts, prayers, and support to the people of the Caribbean and Florida who are dealing with Hurricane Irma,” said Congresswoman Gabbard.

    Hurricane Irma satellite imagery. PC: (9.8.17, 18:15 UTC, 8:15 a.m. HST) courtesy NOAA/National Hurricane Center.

    Hurricane Irma. PC: Pacific Disaster Center (9.8.17)

    The National Hurricane Center is tracking three systems: Katia, Irma and Jose.

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