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WATCH LIVE: Hurricane Irma models, satellite; storm updates

Tornado reported in Palm Bay, 'wind event' damages Umatilla Inn

In this geocolor GOES-16 satellite image taken Sunday, Sept. 10, 2017, the eye of Hurricane Irma moves up Florida's west coast. Hurricane Irma gave Florida a coast-to-coast pummeling with winds up to 130 mph Sunday.

Check out satellite imagery, computer models and the official track of Hurricane Irma in the video player above.

Here's the latest information about Hurricane Irma and the tropics:

MONDAY

2 a.m.

Irma weakened to a Category 1 storm as the massive hurricane zeroed in on the Tampa Bay region early Monday after hammering much of Florida with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

The hurricane's maximum sustained winds weakened to 85 mph (135 kph) with additional weakening expected.

As of 2 a.m. EDT, the storm was centered about 25 miles (40 kilometers) northeast of Tampa and moving north-northwest near 15 mph (24 kph).

Irma continues its slog north along Florida's western coast having blazed a path of unknown destruction. With communication cut to some of the Florida Keys, where Irma made landfall Sunday, and rough conditions persisting across the peninsula, many are holding their breath for what daylight might reveal.

SUNDAY

10:55 p.m.

Hurricane Irma remains a dangerous Category 2 hurricane despite weakening a bit more to 100 mph (160 kph). It's now bearing down on the Tampa-St. Petersburg region.

The National Hurricane Center says Irma's eye is about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Tampa and moving at a fast clip of 14 mph (22 kph). Still a large hurricane, its tropical storm force winds extend out 415 miles (665 kilometers).

Forecasters say they expert Irma's center to stay inland over Florida and then move into Georgia, Alabama and Tennessee.

 

They also expect Irma to weaken further into a tropical storm over far northern Florida or southern Georgia on Monday as it speeds up its forward motion. The hurricane center says the storm is still life-threatening with dangerous storm surge, wind and heavy rains.

10:05 p.m.

 A third construction crane has toppled in Florida in the powerful winds of Hurricane Irma.

Officials say it happened at a project on Fort Lauderdale beach during the storm Sunday.

Officials with developer The Related Group told the Sun-Sentinel the crane collapse caused no injuries and did not appear to damage anything else.

Two other cranes toppled earlier in Miami as Irma swirled up the state.

9:25 p.m.

Miami International Airport has announced it will be closed Monday and begin only limited flights on Tuesday.

Orlando International Airport closed Saturday and won't reopen to passenger traffic until after Hurricane Irma has passed, a damage assessment has been completed, necessary recovery efforts made and the airlines are consulted to determine when best to resume operations.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport says on its website it has no timetable yet to reopen. Its last flights were Friday.

Tampa International Airport also is closed as Hurricane Irma moves up the Florida peninsula.

Airlines are preparing their recovery schedules, which may take several days to execute.

9:05 p.m.

The county administrator in the Florida Keys says crews will begin house to house searches Monday morning, looking for people who need help and assessing damage from Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County Administrator Roman Gastesi says relief will arrive on a C-130 military plane Monday morning at the Key West International Airport.

Once it's light out, they'll check on survivors. They suspect they may find fatalities.

Gastesi says they are "prepared for the worst."

Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning in Cudjoe Key.

8:55 p.m.

The U.S. Departments of State and Defense are working on evacuation flights from Sint Maarten after Hurricane Irma.

Officials say U.S. citizens in need of evacuation should shelter in place until Monday, listening for radio updates, and then go to the airport by noon, bringing proof of citizenship and just one small bag.

The State Department adds that a Royal Caribbean Cruise Line ship has left the island. 

 

8:40 p.m.

A tornado warning was issued for Brevard County until 9:15 p.m.

8:30 p.m.

Hurricane Irma's top sustained winds have dropped to 105 mph. That's still a Category 2 storm, meaning extensive damage will occur.

Masters says that if Irma's center had shifted just 20 miles to the north as it moved past Cuba, it could have hit the mainland United States as a Category 5.

8:22 p.m.

Lake County officials said Sunday night that a "wind event" in Umatilla caused downed trees and structural damage.

 

7:45 p.m.

Hurricane Irma set all sorts of records for brute strength before crashing into Florida, flattening islands in the Caribbean and swamping the Florida Keys.

It finally hit the mainland as a big wide beast, but not quite as monstrous as once feared. The once-Category 5 storm lost some of its power on the northern Cuba coast.

It's still raking Florida with devastating storm surges, winds and rain. Its top sustained winds are now 110 mph (177 kph) and the center of the storm is about 15 miles (25 kilometers) inland from Fort Myers.

7:30 p.m.

It's been difficult to determine the extent of damage Hurricane Irma caused in the Florida Keys, where communication has been difficult and authorities are warning boaters and drivers to stay away.

But The Associated Press has been texting with John Huston, who has been riding out the storm in his house on Key Largo, on the Atlantic side of the island, just south of John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park.

Every few minutes during the height of the storm, he sent another dispatch.

He described whiteout conditions, with howling winds that sucked dry the gulf side of the narrow island, where the tide is usually 8 feet deep. He kept his humor though, texting to "send cold beer" at one point. Now he sees furniture floating down the street with small boats.

He says the storm surge was at least 6 feet deep on his island, 76 miles from Irma's eye. He can see now that structures survived, but the storm left a big mess at ground level.

7 p.m.

The Lee County Sheriff's Office says water began leaking through the roof at the Germain Arena shelter in Estero just as the eye of Hurricane Irma drew near.

Thousands of evacuees have crowded into the minor-league hockey stadium, which seats about 8,400 people and is being used as a shelter.

The sheriff's office posted on Facebook that authorities are monitoring the problem.

6:50 p.m.

Florida officials are urging people to stay in their homes and shelters, even if it looks like Hurricane Irma has passed.

Miami-Dade County spokesman Mike Hernandez said he's seen reports of people leaving the county's hurricane shelters. It's too early for that, he says: "Just because it seems like the weather is clearing up, that doesn't mean it's safe to get out on the roads.

Miami Dade remains under curfew, much of it without electricity, and with downed power lines, flooding and poor visibility, moving around could be deadly.

6:45 p.m.

An airborne relief mission is bringing emergency supplies to the Florida Keys, where Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning.

Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said help is coming in C-130 cargo planes and other air resources.

Monroe County Emergency Management Director Martin Senterfitt calls it a humanitarian crisis.

6:35 p.m.

Tornado warnings have been issued for Western Seminole and Northeastern Lake counties. The warnings will remain in effect until 7 p.m.

A tornado warning has been issued for Orange County until 7:15 p.m.

6:30 p.m.

Hurricane Irma should be moving directly over the Tampa Bay area around midnight. Residents of the highly populated area are fearing the worst.

A report by CoreLogic, the global property data firm, found nearly 455,000 Tampa Bay homes could be damaged by storm surges, the most of any major US metro area other than Miami and New York. Rebuilding those homes could cost $81 billion.

The reason Tampa Bay is so vulnerable is that the bay acts as a funnel for storm surges, forcing water into narrow channels with nowhere else to go.

6:20 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center reports water levels are rising rapidly in Naples from Hurricane Irma's storm surge. A federal tide gauge in Naples reported a 7 foot rise of water in just 90 minutes.

A wind gust of 142 mph (229 kph) was recorded at the Naples Municipal Airport as the storm kept its top sustained wind speed of 110 mph (175 kph).

Irma has picked up forward speed and is moving inland at 14 mph (22 kph) and its eye is about 25 miles (40 kilometers) south southeast of Fort Myers.

6:10 p.m.

Lauren Durham and Michael Davis had big plans for a beach wedding this month. Hurricane Irma had bigger plans.

So instead of a poofy white dress, Durham got married in her Air National Guard fatigues, with no makeup, in a vast hangar filled with rescue vehicles in Orlando. Davis is a senior airman in the guard, like his bride, so they had called to say they'd miss their own wedding.

Then on Sunday, a friend joked that they should get married during the hurricane. Dozens of people helped out, and a fellow guard member happens to be a notary and officiated. Someone even came up with a bouquet of flowers.

The happy couple believes in service before self, and besides, they figure it'll be a great story to tell their kids one day.

6 p.m.

President Donald Trump has declared a major disaster in the state of Florida, making federal aid available to people affected by Hurricane Irma in nine counties already hit by the storm.

The federal help includes temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans for uninsured property losses and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover in the counties of Charlotte, Collier, Hillsborough, Lee, Manatee, Miami-Dade, Monroe, Pinellas, and Sarasota.

Federal funding also is available to governments and non-profit organizations for emergencies in all 67 Florida counties. For the first 30 days, that money will cover 100 percent of the costs of some emergency responses.

5:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. may have gotten a "little bit lucky" after Hurricane Irma veered from its original course and headed west along Florida's coast.

He says Irma may not have been quite as destructive as a result, but that things will play out over the next several hours.

Trump addressed reporters Sunday after returning to the White House from Camp David, the presidential retreat in Maryland where he spent the weekend monitoring the storm.

Trump says Irma will cost "a lot of money" but he isn't thinking about that right now.

He says "right now, we're worried about lives, not cost."

Trump says he'll be having additional meetings about coordination for the storm response.

5:15 p.m.

Hurricane Irma has weakened to a Category 2 storm, technically losing its major hurricane status, after making landfall in southwestern Florida. It is over land but hugging the coast as it moves north.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma's winds were at 110 mph (177 kph), just below major hurricane status, as the center of the still dangerous and wide storm moved farther inland. It was 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Naples late Sunday afternoon. It came ashore on Marco Island at 3:35 p.m.

The hurricane center says "although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning."

The hurricane center says the eye of Irma should hug Florida's west coast through Monday morning and then push more inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia on Monday afternoon. The forecast puts the storm generally over the populated Tampa-St. Petersburg region a couple hours after midnight into Monday morning.

Jeff Masters is meteorology director of the private Weather Underground. He says the fact that the storm approached the Tampa region from over land and from the south could slightly reduce the expected storm surge, although he says it will still be dangerous.

Irma is producing deluges of 2 to 4 inches (5 to 13 centimeters) of rain an hour, which can cause flash flooding.

5:15 p.m.

The storm surge near Cudjoe Key may be flooding the nearby Florida Key Deer Refuge, home to fewer than 1,000 of the endangered Key deer.

The unique subspecies of white-tailed deer about 3 feet (1 meter) tall at the shoulder, the size of a large dog, but wildlife officials were not immediately concerned that the herd had been lost to floodwaters.

Dan Clark is refuge manager for the Florida Keys National Wildlife Refuges Complex. He says the deer are "excellent swimmers."

Clark evacuated his staff Wednesday, and he spoke with The Associated Press by phone from Pinellas County.

He says the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service staff planned to return as soon as weather permitted to begin assessing how the deer and other endangered species fared throughout the narrow, low-lying island chain.

5:15 p.m.

Police in Florida have arrested nine people who were caught on TV cameras looting sneakers and other goods from a sporting goods store and a pawn shop during Hurricane Irma.

Fort Lauderdale Police Chief Rick Maglione said the group was arrested Sunday as the storm roared across South Florida. Maglione called the idea of stealing sneakers during a hurricane "a fairly bad life choice."

Local TV images showed the alleged looters running in and out of a store through a broken window carrying boxes of sneakers.

It wasn't immediately clear what charges those arrested would face. Their identities also were not immediately released.

5:15 p.m.

South Florida Water Management District chief engineer John Mitnik says it will probably be 7 p.m. Sunday before the storm surge in Miami completely subsides. He said the district is prepared for the storm surge expected on the Gulf coast and will have crews out repairing canals and drainage equipment as soon as it is safe.

5:15 p.m.

Wildlife officials say Florida residents and visitors should stay away from sea turtle nests and refrain from any attempts to save them from Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says in a news release that the public must not interfere with any sea turtle eggs, even if they think they're helping.

Officials say sea turtles have a nesting strategy that accommodates natural storm events, with each female depositing several nests throughout the season. No storm season is a total loss for Florida's sea turtles. Even in 2004, when Florida sustained direct hits from several hurricanes, officials say 42 percent of state's loggerhead nests hatched, well within the normal range.

Anyone who sees exposed turtle eggs or nests should contact wildlife officials.

5:15 p.m.

Officials are warning boaters to stay away from the Florida Keys in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said in an email Sunday evening that nearshore waters are filled with navigation hazards like debris, sunken boats, loose boats, buoys and markers.

Residents with boats already in the Keys should avoid driving them in the nearshore waters.

Hurricane Irma made landfall Sunday morning in Cudjoe Key.

5 p.m.

Hurricane Irma has weakened to a Category 2 storm, technically losing its major hurricane status, after making landfall in southwestern Florida. It is hugging the coast as it moves north.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma's winds were at 110 mph (177 kph), just below major hurricane status, as the center of the still dangerous and wide storm moved farther inland late Sunday afternoon. It was smacking Naples after coming ashore in Marco Island at 3:35 p.m.

The hurricane center says "although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning."

The center says the eye of Irma should hug Florida's west coast through Monday morning and then push more inland over northern Florida and southwestern Georgia Monday afternoon.

4:30 p.m.

The Marco Island Police Department is warning people who didn't evacuate to get to higher floors in their buildings.

The department issued the warning in a tweet on Sunday just as Hurricane Irma made landfall on the island.

Forecasts have called for life-threatening storm surge of up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) along the coast.

4:30 p.m.

Electric car maker Tesla says it has temporarily increased the battery capacity of some of its cars to help drivers escaping Hurricane Irma.

The electric car maker said the battery boost was applied to Model S and X cars in the Southeast. Some drivers only buy 60 or 70 kilowatt hours of battery capacity, but a software change will give them access to 75 kilowatt hours of battery life until Saturday. Depending on the model, that could let drivers travel about 40 more miles before they would need to recharge their cars.

 

Tesla said it made the change after a customer asked the company for help evacuating. The company said it's possible it will make similar changes in response to similar events in the future.

3:45 p.m.

Hurricane Irma has made landfall on Marco Island, Florida, as a Category 3 hurricane.

The National Hurricane Center in Miami said Irma's powerful eye roared ashore at Marco Island just south of Naples with 115-mph (185-kph) winds, for a second U.S. landfall at 3:35 p.m. Sunday.

Category 3 storms have winds from 111 to 129 mph, but 130-mph (21-kph) wind gust was recently reported by the Marco Island Police Department.

Irma's second U.S. landfall was tied for the 21st strongest landfall in the U.S. based on central pressure. Irma's first U.S. landfall in the Florida Keys was tied for 7th.

3:30 p.m.

More than 2.1 million customers have lost power in Florida with Hurricane Irma striking the state.

Florida Power & Light reported the numbers Sunday afternoon. The utility, which services much of south Florida, says more than 845,000 of those customers are in Miami-Dade County.

Duke Energy, the dominant utility in the northern half of Florida, has about 13,000 outages with the outer bands of Irma sweeping across the region.

The power companies say they have extra crews on hand to try to restore power -- when it becomes safe to do so.

3:30 p.m.

Hurricane Irma is affecting the House of Representative's work schedule in Washington.

A notice from the House majority leader's office says the House now doesn't plan to take any votes Monday because of "the large number of absences" as a result of the storm.

The first votes of the week are expected Tuesday evening.

The House leadership will keep tabs on the situation and announce updates as necessary.

3:30 p.m.

Hurricane Irma has pushed water out of a bay in Tampa, but forecasters are telling people not to venture out there, because it's going to return with a potentially deadly vengeance.

On Bayshore Boulevard in Tampa, approximately 100 people were walking Sunday afternoon on what was Old Tampa Bay -- a body of water near downtown. Hurricane Irma's winds and low tide have pushed the water unusually far from its normal position. Some people are venturing as far as 200 yards (180 meters) out to get to the water's new edge. The water is normally about 4 to 5 feet (1 to 1.5 meters) deep and reaches a seawall.

The U.S. Hurricane Center has sent out an urgent alert warning of a "life-threatening storm surge inundation of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) above ground level" and telling people to "MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!"

The waters retracted because the leading wind bands of Irma whipped the coastal water more out to sea. But once the eye passes and the wind reverses, the water will rush back in.

3:30 p.m.

Hurricane Irma is affecting the House of Representative's work schedule in Washington.

A notice from the House majority leader's office says the House now doesn't plan to take any votes Monday because of "the large number of absences" as a result of the storm.

The first votes of the week are expected Tuesday evening.

The House leadership will keep tabs on the situaton and announce updates as necessary.

3:15 p.m.

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso says a second tower crane has collapsed into a building under construction in the city's downtown area. Alfonso told The Associated Press that the crane collapsed in a large development with multiple towers being built by Grand Paraiso.

Another crane collapsed earlier Sunday onto a high-rise building that's under construction in a bayfront area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near AmericanAirlines Arena. Officials said no one was injured as the result of either crane's collapse.

High winds are impeding Miami authorities' ability to reach the cranes, and authorities are urging people to avoid the areas.

Alfonso says the approximately two-dozen other cranes in the city are still upright and built to withstand significant wind gusts.

The tower cranes working on construction sites throughout the city were a concern ahead of Irma. Moving the massive equipment, weighing up to 30,000 pounds (13,600 kilograms), is a slow process that would have taken about two weeks, according to city officials.

3 p.m.

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso says a second tower crane has collapsed into a building under construction in the city's downtown area. Alfonso told The Associated Press that the crane collapsed in a large development with multiple towers being built by Grand Paraiso.

Another crane collapsed earlier Sunday onto a high-rise building that's under construction in a bayfront area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near AmericanAirlines Arena. No injuries have been reported.

High winds are impeding Miami authorities' ability to reach the cranes, and authorities are urging people to avoid the areas.

Alfonso says the approximately two-dozen other cranes in the city are still upright and built to withstand significant wind gusts.

The tower cranes working on construction sites throughout the city were a concern ahead of Irma. Moving the massive equipment, weighing up to 30,000 pounds (13,600 kilograms), is a slow process that would have taken about two weeks, according to city officials.

3 p.m.

Forecasters are issuing urgent warnings to residents of Marco Island and Naples, Florida, that receding water is going to return with a potentially deadly vengeance.

As Hurricane Irma skirts within 8 miles (13 kilometers) of Marco Island, the U.S. Hurricane Center has sent out an urgent alert telling residents to "MOVE AWAY FROM THE WATER!"

The center is warning of a "life-threatening storm surge inundation of 10 to 15 feet (3 to 5 meters) above ground level."

Irma's eye may move over Marco Island or with a wobble just miss, but that's not really the point, said hurricane center spokesman Dennis Feltgen. The eye or track line are distractions with such a powerful and giant storm. The impacts of this huge storm surge are what matter.

Because the leading wind bands of Irma whipped the coastal water more out to sea, the waters retracted, but once the eye passes and the wind reverses "the water comes rushing in, kind of like a tsunami," said Jeff Masters, meteorology director for the private service Weather Underground.

Water levels will rise about 8 feet in an hour going from negative to positive, Masters said.

2 p.m.

The National Hurricane Center says a slightly weakened but still powerful Irma will slam the Naples and Marco Island with its strongest winds in a couple of hours.

Irma's winds dropped to 120 mph (195 kilometers per hour), down from 130 mph, and forecasters say it should weaken a bit more before landfall. But it still expected to a strong major hurricane as it rakes Florida from its western edges across to the east.

The storm is 35 miles (55 kilometers) south of Naples and has picked up speed moving north at 12 mph (19 kilometers per hour).

The now Category 3 hurricane will keep on battering all of South Florida with high wind and surge, forecasters say. The hurricane center in western Miami, across the state from the eye of the mammoth storm, recorded an 81 mph (130 kilometers per hour) wind gust.

"This is a life-threatening situation," the hurricane center posted.

2 p.m.

An apparent tornado spun off by Hurricane Irma has destroyed six mobile homes in Florida.

Palm Bay Police Department Lt. Mike Bandish said no one was injured in Sunday's tornado, but that a 93-year-old man refused to leave his damaged home. He told Florida Today that officers tried to convince him to leave, but he wouldn't.

Palm Bay is on Florida's central Atlantic Coast near the Kennedy Space Center. The eye of Irma was hundreds of miles away when the tornado struck.

2 p.m.

Department of Homeland Security Acting Secretary Elaine Duke says she doesn't have any doubt that the federal government can respond to Hurricane Irma and the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey simultaneously.

Duke spoke Sunday afternoon at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters. Talking about efforts to respond to Irma in Florida and the aftermath of Harvey in Texas she says, "I know we're ready and ... I don't have any doubt ... that as a federal government we can do this and will do this."

Duke says she and FEMA chief Brock Long spoke earlier Sunday with President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence and that they are "absolutely pleased with the response" and that they "understand that we're just getting started in many ways."

2 p.m.

Some exterior paneling of AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, home of the NBA's Heat, has been damaged by wind. The arena is near the downtown Miami location where a crane snapped as Irma pounded away Sunday. But a team official told The Associated Press that an initial investigation showed no structural damage. They'll investigate further once conditions make it safe for workers to be outside. The Heat do not play in the arena until their preseason opener on Oct. 1.

At Raymond James Stadium in Tampa -- where the Tampa Bay Buccaneers play football -- local, regional and statewide authorities are using the parking lots and surroundings as a staging area for high-water vehicles and equipment. On Saturday afternoon, several U.S. Marine amphibious vehicles were parked side by side, giant tanks that are ready to plunge into floodwater if needed.

2 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says members of his family who evacuated from Naples ahead of Hurricane Irma are leaving again now that it appears the killer storm will descend on the state capital.

Scott's wife, First Lady Ann Scott, as well as his daughter, his son-in-law and grandchildren left southwest Florida and came to the state capital. Scott owns a waterfront mansion in an area that is in the path of the hurricane.

But Scott said Sunday that his daughter and grandchildren will be leaving Tallahassee to go to Washington, D.C. His daughter just gave birth to twins. Scott said it would be "tough for them if we lose power."

The governor said he doesn't know what storm preparations have taken place at the governor's mansion, located a few blocks north of the Capitol. He said he "hasn't really been there" because he has been in other parts of the state or at the state emergency operations center.

2 p.m.

Major General Michael Calhoun, the head of Florida's National Guard, says that more than 10,000 National Guard members from other states are going to be coming into the state.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has already called up 7,000 members of the Florida National Guard to help with recovery efforts from Hurricane Irma. Those members have been dispatched to shelters around the state and will be involved in handing out supplies in storm-ravaged areas once Irma has passed through.

2 p.m.

Georgia's governor has declared an emergency for the entire state as Hurricane Irma's approach triggers widespread severe-weather threats, including the first-ever tropical storm warning for Atlanta.

Gov. Nathan Deal's new emergency declaration came Sunday as Irma churned near Florida. The National Hurricane Center predicted the storm's center to cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was issued for communities including Albany and Valdosta.

Portions of western Alabama and coastal South Carolina were also under tropical-storm warnings.

The National Weather Service confirmed it had never before issued a tropical-storm warning for Atlanta, where wind gusts could reach 55 mph (88 kph). Meanwhile Savannah and the rest of coastal Georgia were under evacuation orders for the second time since Hurricane Matthew brushed the region last October.

2 p.m.

More than 500 emergency responders are sleeping on cots in the Orange County Convention Center in Orlando, waiting to dispatch to areas devastated by Hurricane Irma.

The convention center had planned to host an elevator-industry gathering this weekend. Instead, more than 1,000 emergency vehicles are lined up in its halls: boats, ambulances, fork lifts, buses, 18-wheelers, fire trucks, and 62 helicopters.

Rescue teams from Florida, Colorado, New York, California and Arizona were checking their gear and resting up so that they would be prepared to hit the road as soon as the storm clears. Some of those emergency workers never even made it home from responding to Hurricane Harvey before turning around and deploying to Florida.

Sean Gallagher is with the Florida Forest Service, which is coordinating the staging operation. He says the convention center's loading dock doors will close as soon as the winds in Orlando rise to hurricane levels to protect the vehicles and responders inside and won't open again until the winds die down.

Then, rapid response teams will rush into the most devastated areas to do recognizance and triage where the rescue operations are most needed.

Until then, they are crammed in the convention center's side rooms and cots. The convention center has pallets of 13,000 ready-to-eat meals.

Aaron Janssen is a helicopter mechanic with a medical aviation company. He's sleeping in a tent next to his helicopter, with his wife and 9-year-old Chihuahua named Marley. He didn't want to leave them behind at their Orlando home while he worked.

Marley spent the day chasing a pigeon around the hangar.

"She's loving it," he said. "She hadn't figured out yet that she's never going to catch that pigeon."

2 p.m.

Miami Beach officials say emergency services have been suspended until winds drop below 40 mph (64 kph), and no one will be allowed into the city until roads have been cleared. The city would continue a mandatory 8 p.m. curfew for the next two nights.

2 p.m.

Actor Robert De Niro says a resort development company he is involved with on Barbuda will work with local officials to help with reconstruction on the island devastated by Hurricane Irma.

De Niro says in a statement that he was "beyond saddened to learn of the devastation" in Barbuda.

The actor is a principal in the Paradise Found Nobu Resort planned for Barbuda. Construction has not yet started on the project.

He said the company will work with local officials to "to successfully rebuild  what nature has taken away from us."

Antigua and Barbuda Prime Minister Gaston Browne says 90 percent of the structures and vehicles on the small island were destroyed in the storm. A 2-year-old boy was killed. About 1,400 people live on the island and most have now been evacuated to Antigua.

2 p.m.

The State Department says it and the Defense Department are resuming their evacuation of U.S. citizens from Sint Maarten via a military flight to Puerto Rico.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert says the department is communicating with Americans there through social media, radio, and by phone.

The department also is coordinating with AirBnB to identify and communicate with U.S. citizens not located at hotels who may have rented residences on the island.

2 p.m.

Vice President Mike Pence says Hurricane Irma is a "storm of historic, epic proportions."

Pence spoke Sunday afternoon while visiting the headquarters of the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington. He says that President Donald Trump has been monitoring the storm "24/7."

Pence says "the people of Florida need to know that our hearts and our prayers and all of our efforts are with them and will be with them until this storm passes."

Pence says Irma "continues to be a very dangerous storm" and he urged people to "heed the warnings of local officials" to either shelter in place or evacuate, depending on where they are.

He says Irma is a "very dangerous storm" and a "life-threatening storm."

Pence says "it's enormously important that every American in the path of this storm take the warnings of state and local officials to heart."

1:30 p.m.

Florida Power & Light says it will be weeks, not days, before electricity is fully restored because of the damage being done by Hurricane Irma.

Spokesman Rob Gould said Sunday that an estimated 3.4 million homes and businesses will lose power once the worst of Irma reaches the Florida mainland. He expects thousands of miles (kilometers) of poles and lines will need to be replaced, particularly on the Gulf coast. As of Sunday afternoon, about 1.5 million customers were without power.

He said 17,000 restoration workers from as far away as California and Massachusetts are already stationed around the state, but it will take time to rebuild the system.

The utility covers much of the state, including most cities on the Atlantic coast and the Gulf coast south of Tampa.  It does not cover Tampa and St. Petersburg, two major cities in Irma's forecast path.

1:30 p.m.

At least 25 people in one Florida county have been arrested for violating a curfew imposed as Hurricane Irma approached the state.

Palm Beach County authorities say the arrests were made after a 3 p.m. Saturday curfew was imposed. The misdemeanor charge can carry a fine of up to $500 and potentially 60 days in jail.

Officials announced the curfew as a safety measure and to prevent looting and other crimes. They say some of those arrested could face other charges, such as drug possession or drunken driving.

The curfew will be lifted after a storm damage assessment is done.

1:30 p.m.

A meteorologist calculates that Hurricane Irma will dump about 10 trillion gallons (38 trillion liters) of rain on Florida over a day-and-a-half time period. That's about 500,000 gallons (1.9 trillion liters) for every Florida resident.

Private meteorologist Ryan Maue of WeatherBell Analytics based his calculations on weather service forecasts. He also calculates it will dump 6 trillion gallons (23 trillion liters) on Georgia.

By comparison, Hurricane Harvey, which stalled over the Texas coast, dumped about 20 trillion gallons (76 trillion liters) on Texas and 7 trillion gallons (26 trillion liters) of rain on Louisiana in about five days. One place around Houston got more than 50 inches (130 centimeters) of rain. Irma is expected to crawl steadily through the Sunshine State.

The National Hurricane Center projects 15 to 20 inches (38 to 50 centimeters) of rain with spots up to 25 inches (64 centimeters) for the Florida Keys. Western Florida is forecast to get 10 to 15 inches of rain (25 to 38 centimeters), with as much as 20 inches (50 centimeters) in spots. The rest of Florida and southeastern Georgia is projected to get 8 to 12 inches (20 to 30 centimeters) of rain, with isolated outbursts up to 16 inches (40 centimeters).

1:30 p.m.

Emergency workers in inflatable boats are navigating flooded streets along Havana's coast, where thousands of people left their homes for safer ground before Hurricane Irma hit Cuba.

Seawater has penetrated as much as 1,600 feet (500 meters) inland in parts of the city. Trees are toppled, roofs have been torn off, cement water tanks have fallen from roofs to the ground and electrical lines are down.

Elena Villar is a Havana resident whose home of 30 years filled with more than 6 feet (2 meters) of water.

She was on the edge of tears Sunday as she said: "I have lost everything."

Villar and her mother spent the night huddling in the lobby of a higher building nearby as the storm raked the city.

In her words: "I have never seen a disaster like this."

1:30 p.m.

Thanks to Hurricane Irma, Savannah, Georgia, has been evacuated for the second time in less than a year. Atlanta, meanwhile, is under a tropical-storm warning for the first time ever.

Nearly all of Georgia was under some type of severe-weather warning Sunday as Irma churned near Florida. The National Hurricane Center predicted the storm's center to cross Monday into southwest Georgia, where a hurricane warning was issued for communities including Albany and Valdosta.

Portions of western Alabama and coastal South Carolina were also under tropical-storm warnings.

The National Weather Service confirmed it had never before issued a tropical-storm warning for Atlanta, where wind gusts could reach 55 mph (88 kph). That's nothing new to Savannah and the rest of coastal Georgia, which evacuated last October for Hurricane Matthew.

1:10 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump has received a "comprehensive update" on Hurricane Irma.

Irma plowed into the Florida Keys Sunday and was forecast to march up the state's west coast.

Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and several Cabinet members participated in the briefing from Camp David -- the presidential retreat where Trump has spent the weekend monitoring the storm.

Other administration officials joined in from the White House or Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters in Washington.

Pence and several Cabinet secretaries are planning to visit FEMA headquarters later Sunday.

The White House says Trump has spoken with the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee. Irma could affect all four states.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says he also spoke with Trump on Sunday.

1:05 p.m.

Deputies shot and wounded a burglar and arrested his accomplice at a Florida home as Hurricane Irma blew in.

The Broward Sheriff's Office said in a news release Sunday that the homeowners in Weston were out of town but saw the burglars remotely inside the house through a home surveillance system.

Deputies responded shortly before 3 a.m. and one of the two juvenile males was shot outside the home. He was taken to a local hospital for treatment of non-life threatening injuries. The other person was arrested.

Their names were not immediately released.

12:55 p.m.

High winds are impeding Miami authorities' ability to reach a construction crane toppled by Hurricane Irma.

The crane fell onto a high-rise building that's under construction. It's in a bayfront area filled with hotels and high-rise condo and office buildings, near AmericanAirlines Arena.

Miami-Dade County Director of Communications Mike Hernandez said emergency personnel couldn't immediately respond to the scene because of high winds. Authorities urged people to avoid the area after the Sunday morning collapse. It wasn't clear if there were any injuries.

Miami City Manager Daniel Alfonso said the approximately two-dozen other cranes in the city are still upright and built to withstand significant wind gusts.

The tower cranes working on construction sites throughout the city were a concern ahead of Irma. Moving the massive equipment, weighing up to 30,000 pounds, is a slow process that would have taken about two weeks, according to city officials.

12:20 p.m.

Florida sheriff's deputies rescued a couple who tried to ride out Hurricane Irma on a small sailboat.

Christine Weiss of the Martin County Sheriff's Office said a passer-by noticed the couple was in trouble Sunday. It happened just off Jensen Beach, which is on the Atlantic Coast north of Palm Beach.

Video shows a Martin County patrol boat manned by deputies John Howell and James Holloran and Detective Mathew Fritchie pulling up next to the sailboat.

The task of helping the couple onto their boat was precarious as both boats bobbed in choppy water. Deputies then took them to shore.

The names of the couple were not released. They were not injured.

12:10 p.m.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says the death toll caused by Hurricane Irma on the Caribbean territory of St. Maarten has risen to four.

Rutte said Sunday, "unfortunately there are more victims to mourn" after the bodies of two people washed up on the island. He says the identities of the victims are not yet known.

One of the four people listed as victims by the Dutch authorities died of natural causes as the Category 5 hurricane lashed St. Maarten, badly damaging or destroying 70 percent of homes on the Dutch part of the Caribbean island.

11:40 a.m.

Some Miami Police officers remembered to pack an essential in their hurricane survival pack: Cuban coffee known as cafecito.

The department tweeted a picture showing a coffee maker atop a camp stove. It read: "As our officers ride out the storm, some have brought the (hashtag) Miami essentials to help them get through the night."

The strongly caffeinated brew is a staple in Miami.

Former FEMA administrator Craig Fugate said this week he'd check Cuban coffee stands to gauge Irma's impacts on Miami.

Fugate is known for creating the so-called "Waffle House Index." Fugate used the Southern restaurant chain as a benchmark for how quickly local communities could rebound from hurricanes.

Waffle House are known for being open most of the time. Under the index, a closed Waffle House was a bad sign. There are no Waffle Houses in Miami, so Fugate suggested an alternative.

"Cuban coffee stands - if those are closed, it is bad," he told AP.

11:25 a.m.

President Donald Trump has spoken with the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee as Hurricane Irma moves north.

All four states could be affected by the storm, which struck the Florida Keys on Sunday.

The White House says Trump spoke with the officials Sunday from the Camp David presidential retreat, where he was spending the weekend.

Trump has been in regular contract with Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Sen. Marco Rubio over the past week. Chief of staff John Kelly spoke Sunday with Florida Sen. Bill Nelson.

Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were scheduled to receive an updated Irma briefing on Sunday.

11:15 a.m.

As Hurricane Irma evacuees fill up Atlanta hotels and shelters, folks are getting creative to offer them a hand.

About 100 of America's top chefs who had gathered for their annual summit changed gears. They pivoted their planned Monday agenda on "heritage grains" and "how to cut food waste." Now, instead, the chefs will prepare a gourmet feast for Irma refugees and serve it at a church.

Hotels were full Sunday morning. At the luxury Georgian Terrace Hotel, staff were flexible with rules to accommodate evacuees. Guests walked pit bulls through the lobby. Large families pulled roller bags and clutched blankets as they squeezed into small rooms without enough beds.

A block away, a church offered free hugs for evacuees.

And a chalkboard sign outside a restaurant offered a discount: "30% OFF Food with FLORIDA ID for Hurricane evacuees."

11:05 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Category 4 Hurricane Irma is now "headed for the southwest Florida coast" as winds continue to pick up speed in all of South Florida.

Irma continues to be armed with 130 mph winds as its large eye passes north of the Keys.

Storm surge is forecast for 10 to 15 feet in southwestern Florida.

Hurricane-force winds are continuing throughout southern Florida, including the Keys. The hurricane center warns that winds affecting upper floors of high-rise building will be much stronger than at ground level.

The hurricane center also emphasizes that Irma will bring life-threatening wind to much of Florida regardless of the exact track of its center.

10:55 a.m.

Puerto Rico's governor says there will be no classes on Monday because hundreds of schools still do not have power or water after the island took a hit from Hurricane Irma.

Ricardo Rossello said Sunday that more than 600 schools don't have power and more than 400 don't have water. Another nearly 400 schools don't have either, and dozens are flooded.

Nearly 600,000 people in the U.S. territory remain without power, representing 40 percent of customers of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority.

10:50 a.m.

The National Weather Service says that a crane has collapsed in Miami as strong wind from Hurricane Irma blows in.

It's one of two-dozen in the city.

The weather service's Miami office said in a Tweet that one of its employees witnessed the crane boom and counterweight collapse in downtown Miami. The employee captured video of the collapse.

It wasn't immediately clear if the collapse caused damage or injuries.

The cranes have been a concern.

Construction sites across Irma's potential path in Florida were locked down to remove or secure building materials, tools and debris that could be flung by Irma's winds.

But the horizontal arms of the tall tower cranes remained loose despite the potential danger of collapse. According to city officials, it would have taken about two weeks to move the cranes and there wasn't enough time.

10:40 a.m.

Hurricane Irma's large eye is beginning to move slowly away from the Florida Keys as it continues north with 130 mph (215 kph) winds.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that the center of core of Irma is about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Key West.

Irma is so wide that a gust of 93 mph (150 kph) was measured near Key Largo at the other end of the Florida Keys.

10:35 a.m.

A Florida Keys refuge for a unique subspecies of deer is in the crosshairs of Hurricane Irma.

The Florida Key Deer Refuge on Big Pine Key is about 10 miles from where the storm made landfall Sunday morning.

It's the only place in world where you find Key deer, a unique subspecies of white-tailed deer about 3 feet tall at the shoulder -- the size of a large dog.

The herd faced a potential extinction event last year when the first screwworm infestation in the U.S. in 30 years. Fewer than 1,000 of the endangered deer remain, and the parasites that eat the flesh of living mammals killed 135 Key deer before state and federal agriculture authorities stopped the infestation earlier this year.

10:30 a.m.

France's Interior Minister expressed relief that Hurricane Jose spared French Caribbean islands St. Martin and St. Barts further devastation.

Gerard Collomb, speaking at a press conference in Paris Sunday, said that Jose passed miles away.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for France's government defended its handling of the hurricane crisis in St. Martin and St. Barts amid criticism that many in the local population felt abandoned by authorities.

Christophe Castaner, speaking in an interview with Europe1-CNews-Les Echos on Sunday, said he "perfectly (understood) the anger" of residents after Hurricane Irma tore through the French Caribbean islands, killing several people, destroying houses and cutting off the water supply. Some shops were subsequently looted by locals.

But he insisted the means deployed by the government were robust -- with emergency help given "first priority."

10:25 a.m.

Florida officials say 127,000 people across the state have taken refuge in more than 500 shelters as Hurricane Irma takes aim at the state.

The state Division of Emergency Management did not specify which shelters had the most people.

Meanwhile, utility officials were warning that the storm could leave millions without power by the time it finishes moving through the state. Already, more than 1.3 million Florida customers were in the dark on Sunday morning as the hurricane made landfall in the Florida Keys.

Florida Power & Light, the state's largest utility, is reporting on Sunday that many people living in the three populous south Florida counties of Broward, Miami-Dade and Palm Beach are without power. State officials say another 64,000 customers who rely on smaller utilities have also lost electricity.

10:10 a.m.

For the first time, a tropical storm warning has been issued for the city of Atlanta.

The National Weather Service in Peachtree City, Georgia, said Sunday it was the first time such a warning had been issued for the metro Atlanta area. High wind warnings have been issued in previous storms.

The warning means that tropical storm conditions are expected within the next 36 hours. Peak winds were expected to reach 30 to 40 mph (48 to 64 kph) with gusts of up to 55 mph (88 kph).

The weather service says storm threats include damage to porches, carports, sheds and unanchored mobile homes. Roads may become impassable due to debris. Power outages could occur.

9:50 a.m.

Hurricane Irma became tied for the seventh strongest storm to make landfall in U.S. history by a key measurement of atmospheric pressure.

Hurricane Irma made landfall at Cudjoe Key at 9:10 a.m. with a minimum central pressure of 929 millibars. Atmospheric pressure is one of the major measurements meteorologists use to describe storms. The lower the pressure, the stronger the storm.

Only six storms on record had lower pressures when striking the United States, including Katrina. When Katrina hit in 2005, it had lower pressure but its wind speed kept it at Category 3.

The 929 pressure mark ties Irma with the deadly 1928 Lake Okeechobee hurricane.

Irma's arrival also marks another first.

Colorado State University hurricane researcher Phil Klotzbach says this is the first year on record that the United States has been hit by two storms that were Category 4 upon landfall: Harvey and Irma.

9:45 a.m.

As Hurricane Irma threatened to wallop the St. Petersburg area, several folks got out on the beach ahead of the storm.

As they milled about Sunday morning, they looked at sailboats bobbing in the wind as the sun rose and took selfies and photos of the beach.

St. Petersburg resident John Leuders says he feels safe. With stores out of plywood, he tore down part of his fence to board up windows. He came down to the beach out of curiosity and noted the strong winds along the water.

Another resident, Sally Carlson, says she's been around for other storms and hurricanes, but this one scares her. She says she wanted to see the city one more time before any problems.

She adds: "I'm hoping it comes out unscathed, but I know better."

9:40 a.m.

Florida utility officials say more than 1 million customers have lost power as Hurricane Irma hits the state.

Florida Power & Light Company said that nearly 1.1 million customers statewide were without power Sunday morning.

About 574,000 of those outages were in Miami-Dade County, while there were 360,000 in Broward and nearly 136,000 in Palm Beach County.

The massive storm made landfall in the Florida Keys, and its center was forecast to move up the state's Gulf Coast. But the effects are being felt far from the center because of Irma's size.

9:25 a.m.

Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Florida Keys.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the center of the massive hurricane made landfall on Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m.

Its top sustained winds are 130 mph (215 kph).

Forecasters say a gust of 106 mph (171 kph) was reported on Big Pine Key.

9:00 a.m.

The Florida Highway Patrol says two people have died in a head-on crash in a county where Hurricane Irma's wind and rain have started to blow in.

Agency spokesman Greg Bueno said the crash happened Sunday morning in Hardee County, which is southeast of Tampa.

It wasn't immediately clear what role the weather may have played. He says troopers are investigating the crash and no further details were immediately available.

Bueno said in an email that the area is starting to feel the effects of Hurricane Irma.

The National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for the county, saying a severe thunderstorm was in the area.

8:55 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center forecasts that the core of Hurricane Irma will likely chug directly for the highly populated Tampa-St. Petersburg region after it gets through raking the Keys, but the storm is so massive all of Florida will be feeling the Category 4 hurricane's fury.

The center of the storm was just off Key West Sunday morning.

The latest forecast of Irma's eye -- which still can change -- keeps the nearly 400-mile wide (640-kilometer) storm in the water, barely off the coast of southwestern Florida's Fort Myers and Naples.

But that also puts that region in the strongest northeast quadrant of the storm, where storm surge, wind, rain and tornado threats are highest.

And a few miles wiggle could bring Irma's eye -- which has measured 30 miles wide (48 kilometers) -- inland.

The storm is moving slowly, about 8 mph (13 kilometers per hour) so its eye is likely to hit the Tampa region around 2 a.m. Monday, but damaging winds, storm, surge, rain and tornadoes will reach the area long before then.

8:45 a.m.

Doctors were forced to talk a Florida woman through delivering her baby at home while Hurricane Irma's outer bands lashed Miami.

The City of Miami said on its Twitter account early Sunday that firefighters couldn't respond in time to the woman in the Little Haiti neighborhood. So doctors from Jackson Health System talked her through the birth of the baby girl at home.

Authorities say firefighters were able to make it to the woman Sunday morning and take her to the hospital after the girl was born.

Miami-Dade fire spokeswoman Erika Benitez said the fire department is responding to calls on a case-by-case basis as strong winds and rain lash the area. They are encouraging residents to stay inside because of downed power lines and debris.

8:20 a.m.

Florida authorities have issued another stern warning about Hurricane Irma: Shooting bullets into the storm won't help keep you safe.

The Pasco County Sheriff's Office tweeted late Saturday: "DO NOT shoot weapons (at) (hashtag) Irma. You won't make it turn around (and) it will have very dangerous side effects."

The sheriff's office, which is in the Tampa Bay-area, was responding to a Facebook event page created two Florida men inviting people to shoot at Irma.

The page reads: "YO SO THIS GOOFY ... LETS SHOW IRMA THAT WE SHOOT FIRST ..."

The invitation presumably was a joke, but 80,000 people indicated they were "going" or "interested" in the event.

In a tweet early Sunday, the Pasco County Sheriff's Office asked the thousands of people who had shared the page to also share their request for volunteers needed at hurricane shelters.

8 a.m.

Forecasters say Hurricane Irma's center is poised to blow across the Florida Keys.

The northern eyewall of the storm reached the island chain early Sunday.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center said in a public advisory that the center of the storm remained offshore but was going to make landfall soon. The storm was centered about 20 miles east (30 km) of Key West, and it was moving north-northwest at 8 mph (13 kph)

The storm had maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215) kph. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of 90 mph (145 kph) near its Key West office.

After hitting the Florida Keys, Irma was forecast to move up the state's Gulf Coast later Sunday.

7:55 a.m.

The National Weather Service in Miami has issued tornado warnings for a wide swath of Monroe, Miami-Dade and Broward counties in South Florida.

Officials say the band of rain and tornado producing cells is moving quickly.

There have been no reports of tornadoes touching down.

7:50 a.m.

Authorities are urging people who chose to ride out Hurricane Irma in the Florida Keys to remain indoors until the storm passes.

The storm's eyewall reached the chain of islands Sunday morning. The National Weather Service reported wind gusts of 90 mph (145 kph) near its Key West office.

In a Facebook post early Sunday, Key West Police urged people who stayed for the hurricane to remain where they took shelter until the storm had passed completely. They also urged people not to go outside when the eye of the storm is over there area, a time period when conditions can seem deceptively calm.

John Huston, who is riding out the storm from his home in Key Largo in the upper Keys, says the wind gusts are strong in his area.

"Water level is higher today," he said via text message Sunday morning. "Incredible wind that won't stop."

7:05 a.m.

Hurricane Irma's eyewall has reached the Florida Keys.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami says the storm's northern eyewall reached the lower Florida Keys Sunday morning. The eyewall is a band of clouds surrounding the center of the storm that has intense winds and strong rain.

The hurricane center says Key West International Airport has measured sustained winds of 50 mph (80 kph).

7:00 a.m.

Hundreds of thousands of people are without power in Florida as Hurricane Irma's winds and rain lash the state.

Irma's center was over water off Key West early Sunday, but places including Miami were being hit with strong winds and rain.

Florida Power & Light Company said that about 430,000 customers were without power Sunday morning. Miami-Dade County had the most outages with about 250,000. Broward County had 130,000 outages. Palm Beach County had more than 40,000 outages.

The utility said that it has mobilized crews and is working to restore power as it can.

6:30 a.m.

With Hurricane Irma closing in on Florida, the storm's winds are already lashing parts of the state.

In Key West, Carol Walterson Stroud and her family are huddled in a third floor apartment at a senior center.

Stroud said early Sunday that the wind was blowing hard, but her family was OK. In a text message to a reporter, she said: "We are good so far."

As of 6 a.m. EDT, forecasters say the Category 4 storm is centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south of the island.

The 60-year-old is with her husband and granddaughter and their dog. Stroud says she plans to step outside once the "eye" of the hurricane passes over later Sunday.

Meanwhile, to the north, access to all of Pinellas County's barrier islands, including the popular spring break destination of Clearwater Beach, has been shut off.

6:10 a.m.

The eye of Hurricane Irma is very close to the lower Florida Keys.

As of 6 a.m. EDT, the U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Category 4 storm is centered about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south-southeast of Key West, Florida, and is moving northwest at 8 mph (13 kph).

Irma's maximum sustained winds are near 130 mph (215 kph). The hurricane center says weakening is forecast but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it moves through the Florida Keys and near Florida's west coast.

6:10 a.m.

France and the Netherlands say their islands in the Caribbean were spared major damage from Hurricane Jose, which passed farther away from the islands than expected.

The Sunday announcements -- coming from France's national weather service and the Dutch navy -- were good news for islands that had already been devastated by Hurricane Irma last week.

Meteo-France said Jose's center passed overnight about 75 miles (125 kilometers) from St. Martin and 80 miles (135 kilometers) from St. Barts, though it still produced gales of up to 48 mph (80 kph) around the islands.

In a tweet Sunday, the Netherlands' navy says the situation after Jose passed north of the islands overnight is "better than expected." Scores of marines and troops will resume their efforts to restore vital infrastructure and distribute food and water on St. Maarten, Saba and St. Eustatius.

In a separate tweet, the navy said the security situation on St. Maarten, which saw widespread looting and robberies after Hurricane Irma, has improved thanks to patrols by marines and police flown to the island to help overwhelmed local law enforcement.

5:10 a.m.

Hurricane Irma has sped up slightly and its eye is about to move across the lower Florida Keys early Sunday.

The hurricane is centered about 40 miles (65 kilometers) south-southeast of Key West and is moving north-northwest near 8 mph (13 kph).

Irma is a Category 4 hurricane with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (215 kph). The U.S. National Hurricane Center says weakening is forecast but Irma is expected to remain a powerful hurricane as it moves through the Florida Keys and near Florida's west coast.

Tens of thousands in Florida are huddled in shelters as the hurricane threatens to make a catastrophic hit on the state.

5:10 a.m.

Dutch King Willem-Alexander is flying to the Caribbean to meet survivors of Hurricane Irma who were evacuated there from the hard-hit island of St. Maarten.

Meanwhile, Dutch tourists stranded for days on St. Maarten are hoping to finally get flights home.

Willem-Alexander was to fly Sunday to the island of Curacao to visit a hospital where more than 60 patients from St. Maarten who require kidney dialysis were flown for treatment over the last two days by the Dutch military.

If the weather is good enough, the monarch will later fly onward to St. Maarten and two other smaller islands hit by Irma on Wednesday to offer his support to the thousands of residents and Dutch marines helping to clear the island, where some 70 percent of homes were badly damaged or destroyed by the Category 5 storm.

The Dutch navy tweeted Sunday that it plans to evacuate tourists from the island's shattered resorts.

4:10 a.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Hurricane Irma is bearing down on the lower Florida Keys early Sunday.

A National Ocean Service station on a coral reef near the Keys has recorded sustained winds of 66 mph (105 kph) with a gust up to 85 mph (137 kph). Key West International Airport has measured sustained winds of 43 mph (69 kph) with a gust up to 73 mph (117 kph).

Irma is centered about 55 miles (90 kilometers) south-southeast of Key West, Florida, and is moving northwest near 6 mph (9 kph).

3:15 a.m.

A re-strengthened Hurricane Irma is continuing to move toward the western Florida Keys early Sunday.

The hurricane has regained Category 4 status with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (210 kph) and is centered about 65 miles (105 kilometers) southeast of Key West, Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says the Miami Executive Airport has measured a sustained wind speed of 46 mph (74 kph) with a gust of up to 61 mph (98 kph).

Tens of thousands in Florida are huddled in shelters as the hurricane threatens to make a catastrophic hit on the state.

2:10 a.m.

Hurricane Irma has regained Category 4 strength as it moves toward Florida, where it's feared to make a devastating hit.

Irma's maximum sustained winds increased early Sunday to near 130 mph (210 kph) and it's expected to gain a little more strength as it moves through the Straits of Florida and remain a powerful hurricane as it approaches Florida.

Irma is centered about 70 miles (115 kilometers) south-southeast of Key West, Florida, and is moving northwest near 6 mph (9 kph).

1:40 a.m.

Hurricane Irma is closing in on the Florida Keys with top winds of 120 mph (190 kph) early Sunday as forecasters monitored a crucial shift in its trajectory that could keep its ferocious eye off the southwest Florida coast and over warm gulf water.

Tens of thousands of people huddling in shelters watched for updates as the storm swung to the west, now potentially sparing Tampa as well Miami the catastrophic head-on blow forecasters had been warning about.

But those few miles meant St. Petersburg could get a direct hit, rather than its more populous twin across Tampa Bay.

The leading edge of the immense storm bent palm trees and spit rain across South Florida, knocking out power to more than 170,000 homes and businesses, as the eye approached Key West.

Midnight

The National Hurricane Center says Irma's projected path is continuing to shift to the west, just a few crucial miles, that should keep its eye just off Florida's west coast on a track to hit St. Petersburg, not Miami or even Tampa.

The hurricane's leading edge was already lashing the Florida Keys with hurricane force winds. If the center of the storm keeps moving over warm Gulf of Mexico water, it may regain more strength before making landfall again.

St. Petersburg, like Tampa, has not taken a head-on blow from a major hurricane in nearly a century. Clearwater would be next, and then the storm would finally go inland northwest of Ocala.

The storm currently has top sustained winds of 120 mph (193 kph) and is moving northward at about 6 mph (10 kph).

SATURDAY

11:10 p.m.

More than 170,000 homes and businesses in Florida have lost power and the center of Irma is about 90 miles southeast of Key West.

Florida Power and Light said on its website that more than half of those outages were in the Miami-Dade area, where about 600,000 people have been ordered to evacuate.

The company has said it expects millions of people to lose power, with some areas experiences prolonged outages.

The company said it has assembled the largest pre-storm workforce in U.S. history, with more than 16,000 people ready to respond.

As Irma's hurricane-force winds started to whip the Florida Keys, the storm stayed at a weakened 120 mph (190 kph) and took slow aim at Florida.

The National Hurricane Center says the storm's forward motion fell to 6 mph (10 kph) as the storm stuttered off the coast of Cuba. Forecasters say it could still increase in strength, but their forecast didn't show it.

The hurricane-force wind field stretched well over 100 miles. Forecasters say they are moving the forecast track slight west again.

10:15 p.m.

The National Weather Service says the first hurricane-force wind gust has been recorded in the Florida Keys as Irma inches closer to the state.

The weather service says the Smith Shoal Light station recorded a 74 mph (119 kph) wind gust on Saturday night.

The center of Irma is headed toward the Keys and has sustained winds of 120 mph (193.11 kph).

9:10 p.m.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center says wind gusts near hurricane strength have been recorded in the Florida Keys as the center of Irma moves closer to the state.

Forecasters said Saturday night that Marathon had reported a wind gust of 71 mph (114 kph) and sustained winds of 51 mph (82 kph). Irma is about 105 miles (170 kilometers) southeast of Key West.

It has winds of 125 mph (200 kph).

8:15 p.m.

Prime Minister William Marlin of St. Maarten says about 1,600 tourists who were in the Dutch Caribbean territory have been evacuated and efforts are being made to move 1,200 more.

 Marlin says many nations and people have offered help to St. Maarten, but weather conditions will determine how this can be coordinated.

 Authorities are still trying to determine the extent of damage to the island, but he said 28 police officers lost homes during Hurricanes Irma and Jose.

The prime minister said Saturday that St. Maarten remains under curfew and looting that took place immediately after the storm has subsided.

 8 p.m.

Meteorologists say heavy rain squalls spawning tornadoes are hitting South Florida part of Hurricane Irma's leading edge.

The National Hurricane Center says a hurricane hunter airplane found Irma's winds dropped from 125 mph to 120 mph, but that's likely to soon increase again now that the center of the storm is over bathtub-warm water.

Hurricane force winds extend 70 miles (110 kilometers) out from the 30-mile (48-kilometer) wide storm eye.

Marathon International Airport recently reported a sustained wind of 48 mph (77 kilometers per hour) and a gust to 67 mph (108 kilometers per hour).

7:30 p.m.

Hurricane Irma is starting to spin up funnel clouds and at least one tornado, leading to warnings for parts of South Florida.

The National Weather Service in Miami posted on Twitter Saturday evening that a tornado had touched the ground in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Oakland Park. It wasn't immediately clear how much damaged was caused.

Tornado warnings have been issued for Fort Lauderdale, Coral Springs, Pompano Beach and Sunrise in Broward County, as well as parts of nearby Palm Beach and Hendry Counties.

Meanwhile, Florida Gov. Rick Scott is urging Floridians to be "patient" and not quickly rush back to their homes once Irma passes. He says the massive storm is likely to cause widespread damage and that people should stay away until they are told by local officials that they can return.

 7:10 p.m.

The center of Hurricane Irma has now cleared the Cuban coast and entered the Florida Straits, where bathtub-warm water of nearly 90 degrees (32 degrees Celsius) will enable the storm to intensify.

Irma had fallen to a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, but National Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen says it's already showing signs at high altitudes of regaining its previous powerhouse strength and becoming better organized.

And because this storm is more than 350 miles (563 kilometers) wide, the Miami area is NOT in the clear just because Irma's eye is shifting to the west.

The forecasts even have Irma maintaining hurricane strength well into Georgia on Monday. 

6:40 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott says at least 76,000 people are without power as Irma unleashes winds and rain on the state.

Scott said Saturday night that the outages expected to grow as Irma moves closer to the state.

He warned people that the storm is life-threatening.

6:30 p.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is telling people that have been ordered to evacuate that now is the time to go.

He says this is the last chance they will have to make a good decision.

The governor says millions of people will see life-threatening winds and storm surge as Irma approaches the state.

6:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is cautioning people in Irma's path to "get out of its way" and not worry about possessions.

Trump says property is replaceable but lives are not, and that safety must come first.

He says the nation is grieving for those who've been killed by the powerful storm, which spent the week churning its way across the Caribbean, leaving death and destruction in its wake. Hurricane Irma is forecast to hit Florida's southern coast at daybreak Sunday.

Trump says the U.S. is as prepared as it can be for a storm as monstrous as Irma.

Trump spoke at a weekend Cabinet meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland. He posted a brief video of his remarks on Twitter.
 

6:05 p.m.

More than 75,000 people have flocked to shelters in Florida to escape Hurricane Irma's potentially deadly winds and storm surge.

The state said Saturday that more than 400 shelters are open, mostly in schools, churches and community centers.

A hectic scene happened outside a minor league hockey arena in southwest Florida, where thousands of people were stuck in line. Some waited for more than five hours to get inside because only two doors were open.

When rain began falling heavily, more doors were open and the 8,400 seat Germain Arena quickly filled.

More than 6 million people have been warned to evacuate.

6 p.m.

There's a wild bunch riding out Hurricane Irma inside the Key West jail.

Just ahead of Hurricane Irma, 426 inmates were evacuated by bus to lockups in Palm Beach County.

Then, things got really wild. The Monroe County Sheriff's Office runs an Animal Farm, housing 250 animals that have been abandoned, abused, confiscated or donated. And with a storm surge threatening to swamp the farm, the sheriff's office figured the jail cells are much safer for the animals.

The new population of the Key West jail includes Mo the Sloth and Kramer the Emu, along with horses, pigs, goats, sheep, tropical birds, alligators, snakes, turtles and others.

5:45 p.m.

Authorities say they are investigating whether Irma's wind and rains contributed to a fatal crash in the Florida Keys.

Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay said Saturday that first responders patrolling during a lull in the storm found the man's truck wrapped around a tree.

The sheriff says after receiving a report of the crash, his office found a tow truck that quickly removed the truck and body for safekeeping.

The Florida Highway Patrol will investigate when it is safe. The man's identity was not released.

French President Emmanuel Macron is coming under criticism for his government's handling of Hurricane Irma and failing to fully prepare France's Caribbean territories for its devastating blow.

Far right leader Marine Le Pen, who lost the presidency to Macron in May, accused the government Saturday of having "totally insufficient" emergency and security measures in place.

Families of stranded island residents have taken to social networks to voice similar criticism after at least nine were killed and homes destroyed across St. Martin and St. Barts.

Macron held an emergency meeting later Saturday about Irma and approaching Hurricane Jose, and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe insisted that the government's support for Irma's victims isn't "empty words."

The criticism comes as Macron's popularity has been sinking over unpopular domestic policies.

5:20 p.m.

Hurricane Irma is done with Cuba and is slowly chugging to the Florida Keys and the state's west coast.

The National Hurricane Center extended storm surge and hurricane warnings on both sides of Florida's coasts.

The center warns the threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected.

Southwest Florida is sometimes called "surge central" by storm experts.

Irma continues to have 125 mph (200 kph) winds, but forecasters say it should regain some of its lost strength and eventually hit Florida probably as a Category 4 hurricane.

Strong hurricane-force winds will reach the Florida Keys by Sunday morning. Already Fort Lauderdale's airport reported sustained winds of 47 mph (76 kilometers per hour).

4:20 p.m.

The general in charge of the Ohio National Guard says 7,000 soldiers from several states will be sent to Florida to help with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Maj. General Mark Bartman told The Associated Press Saturday that the Ohio National Guard will be part of a contingent that also includes National Guard units from Wisconsin, Indiana and Michigan. The Ohio National Guard is sending as many as 3,500 Ohio soldiers.

Bartman says Ohio Guard soldiers will head to Florida starting sometime next week. It's the Ohio National Guard's first large deployment of soldiers for U.S. disaster relief since Hurricane Katrina along the Gulf Coast in 2005.

The general says Ohio Guard soldiers will be involved in varying missions that could include providing security alongside local law enforcement and helping transport stranded people to shelters.

4:15 p.m.

Florida officials have started allowing people to drive on the shoulders of Interstate 4, the main highway that links Tampa to Orlando.

The Florida Department of Transportation and the Florida Highway Patrol announced the move on Saturday. It came in the aftermath of updated forecasts that show Hurricane Irma taking aim at Tampa.

State officials have been permitting motorists to use shoulders instead of allowing one-way flow on the state's highways. Florida has told more than 6 million to evacuate ahead of the killer storm and the mass exodus has jammed the roads.

Gov. Rick Scott has resisted calls to reverse the flow of lanes. Georgia's governor authorized one-way traffic in order to help with evacuations in that state. State officials cautioned that driving on the left-hand shoulder is only allowed when motorists are directed to do so by police and highway signs.

4 p.m.

France's government is sending hundreds more soldiers and police to restore order to the Caribbean island of St. Martin amid looting and chaos after Hurricane Irma.

The government also told all residents to stay inside and put the island and nearby St. Barts on its highest alert level as a new storm, Hurricane Jose, bears down on the area.

Prime Minister Edouard Philippe announced Saturday night that France is sending Foreign Legion troops, paratroopers and other reinforcements to St. Martin starting Sunday.

France already has several hundred gendarmes, soldiers and other security forces but Philippe acknowledged that they are working in difficult conditions and need help.

St. Martin saw several people killed and vast damage to homes, electricity and water supplies.

The broadcaster Francetvinfo reported Saturday that the island's jail was also destroyed and its 250 inmates are now at large.

3:00 p.m.

More than 50,000 people in Florida are seeking shelter in schools, community centers and churches as Hurricane Irma nears the state.

The government-sponsored shelters were open Saturday as officials warned 6.3 million Floridians to evacuate. The storm was expected to make landfall in Florida on Sunday. Those with nowhere to turn headed to the shelters while others sought lodging at hotels or with friends and family.

Red Cross shelter coordinator Steve Bayer said most people at shelters are grateful and happy.

Steve and Judith Smith of Orlando fled their mobile home and wound up at their local middle school after all the nearby hotels were sold out.

2:50 p.m.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is relaxing pollution controls for emergency and backup power generating facilities in the Florida Keys' Monroe County to help keep power generated during and after Hurricane Irma.

The agency on Saturday announced its decision in a press release after a request by Florida environmental officials.

The "no action assurance" letter will allow two utility-scale units in the county to operate beyond their typical operating periods.

The EPA said the extra operation may increase pollution, but that the decision is in the public interest given the emergency.

"EPA policy allows the agency to issue no action assurances in cases where it is necessary to avoid extreme risks to public health and safety and where no other mechanism can adequately address the matter," the agency's release said.

2:20 p.m.

Forecasters expect winds of more than 110 mph (177 kph) from Hurricane Irma to smack the Florida Keys around daybreak Sunday.

Irma was lingering over the northern Cuba coast on Saturday. Its forward speed has slowed to 9 mph (15 kph) and it has yet to make the expected big northward turn toward Florida yet. Its maximum sustained winds were 125 mph (205 kph).

The U.S. National Hurricane Center's latest forecast  -- which still can change a bit and has a margin of error of dozens of miles -- projects Irma's potent eye to make three landfalls into Florida.

First, there's a projected Sunday morning hit in the Lower Keys. Then later, after moving over water, Irma is expected to come ashore around Cape Coral or Fort Myers. From there it is predicted to steam inland go over the highly populated Tampa Bay region.

After Tampa, Irma is projected to briefly go back out to the Gulf of Mexico and then hit north of Homosassa Springs for a third landfall. In the following days, Irma is forecast to head through Florida and Georgia into Tennessee.

2 p.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump and his Cabinet are receiving regular updates on Hurricanes Irma and Jose as they meet at the Camp David presidential retreat.

Elaine Duke, the acting homeland security secretary, is scheduled to provide a full briefing to the president and the rest of his team.

The White House adds that Trump and first lady Melania Trump are keeping everyone who has been affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma in their thoughts and prayers. They're also urging the public to closely follow safety advice from local authorities.

The president and first lady invited all Cabinet members and their spouses to the Maryland retreat for the weekend.

Besides hurricane briefings, the White House says Trump also planned to lead a discussion of the administration's priorities.

1:50 p.m.

French ministers have decided to step up security on the Caribbean islands of St. Martin and St. Barts that were hit hard by Hurricane Irma and are now facing the approach of Hurricane Jose.

On Friday, looting and gunshots were reported on St. Martin, and a curfew was imposed there and in St. Barts until Wednesday.

According to a statement Saturday, French Interior Minister Gerard Collomb is sending two extra gendarme squadrons and some 150 soldiers. They will be there to strengthen checkpoints, reassure the public and prevent further looting and chaos.

One hundred firefighters are also being sent to the islands.

The statement also said that a tanker with water is being sent for residents without clean running water.

1:50 p.m.

The U.S. Coast Guard says that an overdue freighter has been located and is safely anchored.

A Coast Guard statement says the Princess Samiah departed Tuesday from Tortola in the British Virgin Islands.  It was en route to Grenada.

The Coast Guard says it was contacted by the Maritime Rescue Coordination Center in Fort de France when the ship did not arrive.

The Coast Guard says it made contact with the vessel owner who confirmed that the ship is safely anchored off St. Vincent in the southern Caribbean. All three crew members were reported safe.

1:25 p.m.

Cuban officials say Hurricane Irma has damaged crops in the rural eastern part of the country.

Civil Defense official Gergorio Torres tells reporters that authorities are still trying to tally the extent of the damage in Las Tunas province and nearby areas. He said damage seems to have been concentrated in infrastructure for crops including bananas.

Eastern Cuba is home to the island's poor, rural population. Once known for sugarcane and other crops, the agricultural industry was declining even before the hurricane.

Video images from northern and eastern Cuba show utility poles and signs uprooted by the storm and many downed trees as well as extensive damage to roofs. There were no immediate reports of casualties.

12:55 p.m.

Georgia is bracing for potentially far-flung impacts from Hurricane Irma, which could swamp the coast with storm surge and topple trees and power lines in Atlanta.

The National Hurricane Center placed the entire Georgia coast under a hurricane watch Saturday as residents packed their cars and trickled onto the highways in six counties under a mandatory evacuation. A hurricane watch was also issued for the South Carolina coast from the Georgia line to Edisto Beach, about 40 miles (65 kilometers) southwest of Charleston.

Irma's center is forecast to enter southern Georgia far inland Monday and plow northward as a tropical storm or depression. Emergency officials expect tropical storm winds to reach Georgia's coast, where storm surges could be amplified by unusually high tides.

12:45 p.m.

The Dutch government estimates 70 percent of houses on St. Maarten were badly damaged or destroyed by Hurricane Irma. That leaves many of the 40,000 residents reliant on public shelters as they brace for Hurricane Jose.

Interior Minister Ronald Plasterk said Saturday that Jose is forecast to track northwest of St. Maarten and will likely dump a lot of rain on buildings, many of which had roofs torn off by Irma.

Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said the situation remains "grim" on the island where widespread looting has broken out.

Rutte says there are some 230 Dutch troops and police patrolling St. Maarten and a further 200 will arrive in coming days. Rutte issued a warning to looters that the troops and police will clamp down hard to end the lawlessness.

12:30 p.m.

Florida's governor is issuing urgent warnings to a third of his state's residents to evacuate ahead of a massive hurricane on track to be the state's most catastrophic ever.

Gov. Rick Scott says the entire west coast of Florida will likely see dangerous affects from storm surge as Hurricane Irma comes ashore Sunday. About 6.3 million of the state's approximately 21 million residents have been asked to evacuate.

During a Saturday news conference, he told those in evacuation zones: "You need to leave -- not tonight, not in an hour, right now"

Scott said that the storm surge is expected to be up to 15 feet (4.5 meters) in some areas along the west coast of Florida. In the Tampa Bay area, Scott said the storm surge could be between 5 feet (1.5 meters) and 8 feet (2 meters).

Scott said: "This is the most catastrophic storm the state has ever seen."

11:50 a.m.

Florida emergency management officials have asked another 700,000 to evacuate ahead of Hurricane Irma. That brings the total number asked to evacuate multiple states to nearly 7 million.

Florida's Division of Emergency Management said Saturday that officials have issued a mix of mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders to 6.3 million residents. The number rose overnight as the predicted path of Hurricane Irma has shifted west. It's likely to come ashore Sunday.

The size and trajectory of the storm has prompted officials to order evacuations along both coasts of Florida, including some of the state's population centers. Florida is the nation's third largest state with nearly 21 million residents.

Another 540,000 have been asked to evacuate in the eastern part of Georgia.

In South Carolina, a mandatory evacuation order was issued for eight barrier islands. That includes Hilton Head Island, the most populous of the islands with about 40,000 residents.

 11:25 a.m.

Hurricane Irma has weakened to a Category 3 storm with 125 mph winds, but it's expected to regain its strength before slamming into Florida.

The storm has been pounding Cuba, and forecasters say it will get stronger once it moves away.

Irma is expected to hit the Florida Keys Sunday morning and then Tampa. The National Hurricane Center warned in a Saturday advisory that the storm will bring "life-threatening wind" to much of the state regardless of its exact path.

Forecasters also predict storm surges of up to 15 feet in southwestern Florida and rainfall up to 25 inches in the Keys.

The hurricane warning for Florida's west coast has been extended to the Aucilla River, just south of Tallahassee, and the watch pushed west to Indian Pass on Florida's Panhandle.

The hurricane warning for Florida's east coast has been pushed further north to Fernandina Beach, with the hurricane watch further north to Edisto Beach.

11:15 a.m.

U.S. officials are working to secure some of the nation's most contaminated toxic waste sites as Hurricane Irma bears down on Florida.

Republican Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida says the EPA personnel he's spoken with seem "generally positive" about the prospects for toxic sites remaining secure in the coming hurricane. But, as he put it, "they can't guarantee it 100 percent."

Rubio spoke with AP from the Miami-Dade Emergency Operations Center.  Florida has Superfund sites on both the east and west coasts. Rubio says EPA officials have been assessing the sites for 72 hours. He says they think the risks to the sites are "real" but not as severe as Houston faced from Harvey, because of the Texas oil industry.

11 a.m.

Florida emergency management officials say at least 51,000 residents have hunkered down in approximately 300 shelters ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Most of those staying in shelters are in southeast Florida, which initially looked to be the main target of the storm before the forecast shifted west. More than 15,000 people are in shelters in Palm Beach County while neighboring Broward County has nearly 13,000 people.

The threat of Irma has prompted state and local officials to ask 5.6 million residents to flee ahead of the storm. It's expected to come ashore Sunday and take aim at the Tampa Bay area.

Officials in the Florida Keys are evacuating some 460 inmates and 125 corrections officers from a jail on Stock Island to a jail in Palm Beach County.

Spokeswoman Becky Herrin said in a news release that Sheriff Rick Ramsey made the decision Friday night because of the changing path of Hurricane Irma. The jail on Stock Island is near Key West on the lower end on the island chain.

10:50 a.m.

France has dispatched one of its most impressive military transport planes to assist recovery efforts near the hurricane-battered French overseas islands of St. Martin and St. Bart.

In a statement Saturday, the French army said the four-engine airlifter A400M had taken off from the mainland city of Orleans to the Caribbean with a Puma helicopter, a dozen military and technical personnel and humanitarian cargo.

The fast-approaching Hurricane Jose -- which is going to pass just above St. Martin -- has meant that all access to and from St. Martin and St. Bart has been halted.

The A400M is expected to arrive at Fort-de-France, the capital of France's Caribbean overseas department of Martinique, and will remain in the region at least a week to help with hurricane relief work.

10:40 a.m.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott is heeding his own advice about Hurricane Irma by evacuating his beachside mansion along the Gulf Coast.

The governor's office confirmed that Scott's family, including First Lady Ann Scott, left Naples in southwestern Florida ahead of the dangerous storm. Scott's daughter, her husband and their grandchildren have also evacuated.

Scott's mansion is worth approximately $15 million, according to his latest financial disclosure.

As governor, Scott usually splits his time between his mansion and the governor's mansion located in the state capital, Tallahassee. The multi-millionaire businessman was first elected in 2010.  

10:30 a.m.

Residents in the French overseas territories of St. Martin and St. Barts have another hurricane at their doorstep after a devastating blow from Irma.

Hurricane Jose was closing in Saturday. Forecasters expected winds of up to 93 mph (150 kph), along with torrential rains and large waves.

French authorities said Saturday that some 1,105 workers are now deployed St. Martin and St. Barts to help the islands' recovery. By Saturday, damage estimates from Irma reached the 1.2 billion euro ($1.44 billion) mark -- pockmarking the islands that have become famous as lush playgrounds for the rich and famous.

In St. Martin, travel to or from the island has ground to a halt until Jose passes.

Jacques Witkowski is France's Director of Public Safety. He says the international airport isn't operational.

The last airplane flew in to the battered Grande-Case de Saint Martin airport Friday. It carried emergency workers to help with reconstruction as well as specialists who aim to re-establish the island's damaged water and electricity systems.

10:15 a.m.

Florida's governor is warning residents that storm surge of up to 12 feet in places will inundate houses.

Gov. Rick Scott urged anyone living in an evacuation zone in southwest Florida to leave by noon Saturday as the threat of Hurricane Irma has shifted west.

He says the storm is "going to go faster than you are."

Scott said 25,000 people in Florida have already lost electricity as Irma's outer bands have begun hitting the southern part of the state.

The governor also warned of dangerous storm surge of between 6 feet (2 meters) and 12 feet (4 meters) across parts of Florida.

He said: "This will cover your house."

8:45 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of powerful Hurricane Irma is expected to hit southwest Florida and Tampa sometime Sunday, but the entire state will feel the storm's effects.

Hurricane Center spokesman and meteorologist Dennis Feltgen said Saturday that while Miami won't get the core of Irma it will still get life-threatening hurricane conditions.

The Category 4 storm pounded Cuba early Saturday with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph). It was expected to strengthen before hitting Florida.
 

8 a.m.

Hurricane Irma's winds have slowed slightly while it rakes Cuba, but the massive storm is expected to strengthen again as it approaches Florida.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said Saturday morning that Irma remained a Category 4 storm with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph (215 kph). Forecasters expect the storm to pick strength back up as it moves away from Cuba.

The storm's center was about 10 miles (15 kilometers) northwest of Caibarien, Cuba. That's also about 225 miles (365 kilometers) south of Miami.

Meteorologists say damaging winds from Irma's outer bands were already arriving in South Florida. The storm was expected to reach the Florida Keys on Sunday morning before moving up the state's Gulf Coast.

7:45 a.m. 

Meteorologists say damaging winds are blowing into South Florida as Hurricane Irma approaches.

The National Weather Service said Saturday morning that damaging winds were moving into areas including Key Biscayne, Coral Gables and South Miami. Gusts of up to 56 mph (90 kph) were reported on Virginia Key off Miami as the storm's outer bands arrived.

The center of the storm was about 245 miles (395 kilometers) southeast of Miami early Saturday as it raked the northern coast of Cuba.

The latest forecast track predicts the center of the storm will move along Florida's Gulf Coast through Monday.

6:25 a.m.

France's public insurance agency estimates that Hurricane Irma inflicted 1.2 billion euros ($1.44 billion) in damage on infrastructure in the French overseas islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

In a statement Saturday, the Caisse Central de Reassurance, France's public-sector reinsurer that provides coverage for natural disasters, said that amount covers damage to houses, vehicles and businesses.

It added that Hurricane Irma is "one of the biggest natural catastrophes to have occurred in France in 35 years."

The agency said affected residents have 10 days to make a claim starting from Saturday, when the status of a natural disaster was officially declared

6:10 a.m.

France's Director of Public Safety has held a press conference in Paris on the recovery efforts in the French overseas island territories of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy that are reeling from Hurricane Irma.

Jacques Witkowski said Saturday that "there are 1,100 people, both civilian and military, deployed on the islands" to help with recovery.

But he said they were also tasked with evacuation of residents ahead of another hurricane, Jose, which is expected to violently pummel islands in the Caribbean later on Saturday.

Witkowski said the eye of Hurricane Jose will pass close to the islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

5:20 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says Irma has weakened slightly to a Category 4 hurricane, as it moves over the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba.

Irma had briefly regained Category 5 strength late Friday, but now has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (249 kph). The hurricane is about 245 miles (394 kilometers) from Miami and moving about 12 mph (19.3 kph) toward the west-northwest.

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 hurricane, about 190 miles (306 kilometers) east-southeast of The Northern Leeward Islands, moving toward the islands at 13 mph (20.92 kph) with winds reaching 150 mph.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico and weakened to a tropical storm. By early Saturday morning it was 135 miles (217 kilometers) south of Tampico, Mexico, moving sluggishly at only 2 mph (3.2 kph) near the Sierra Madre Mountains with maximum winds of 40 mph (64.4 kph). It was expected to weaken further throughout the day.

3:20 a.m.

Dutch marines have dropped flyers from a helicopter warning beleaguered inhabitants on the devastated nation of St. Maarten to head to shelters as Hurricane Jose barrels through the Caribbean.

Jose, a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds, was forecast to pass close to St. Maarten over the weekend, delivering a second damaging blow to the former Dutch colony that suffered catastrophic damage when Category 5 Hurricane Irma slammed into it on Wednesday.

Peter Jan de Vin, a Dutch military commander on the island of Curacao who is helping coordinate relief efforts on St. Maarten, tweeted a picture Saturday morning of a marine dropping flyers out of a helicopter flying low over one of St. Maarten's shattered seafront neighborhoods.

2:20 a.m.

The National Hurricane Center says the eye of Irma is moving over the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba as a Category 5 hurricane.

The center says Irma made landfall there late Friday and has maximum sustained winds of 160 mph (257 kph). The hurricane is about 275 miles (443 kilometers) from Miami and moving about 12 mph (19.3 kph) toward the west.

In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico and weakened to a tropical storm, with winds reaching 45 mph (72.4 kph).

In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 hurricane, about 240 miles (386 kilometers)east-southeast of the Northern Leeward Islands, moving roughly westward at 14 mph  (23 kph)with winds reaching 150 mph.

12:35 a.m.

A newly strengthened Irma is taking aim at south Florida with 160 mph (257 kph) winds after battering Cuba and leaving more than 20 dead across the Caribbean, as another hurricane follows close behind.

Irma regained Category 5 status late Friday. Thousands of people in the Caribbean fought desperately to find shelter or escape their storm-blasted islands, and more than 6 million people in Florida and Georgia were warned to leave their homes.

Many residents and tourists were left reeling after the storm ravaged some of the world's most exclusive tropical playgrounds, known for their turquoise waters and lush green vegetation. Among them: St. Martin, St. Barts, St. Thomas, Barbuda and Anguilla.

Irma threatened to push its way northward from one end of Florida to the other beginning Sunday morning.

Read previous updates on Hurricane Irma here.


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