hurricane

Updated at 6:20 p.m. ET

By all accounts, Hurricane Irma is a behemoth, a "potentially catastrophic" storm bearing 185-mph winds and the threat of devastation for the islands caught in its northwesterly course toward Florida. That threat packed an added wallop Wednesday for Puerto Rico, a U.S. territory already reeling from billions in debt.

Updated 3:20 a.m. ET Thursday

France's Interior minister says Hurricane Irma has killed at least eight people and left 23 injured on French Caribbean island territories. The Associated Press reports:

Speaking on French radio France Info, Gerard Collomb said the death toll in Saint-Martin and Saint-Barthelemy could be higher because rescue teams have yet to finish their inspection of the islands. Collomb said Thursday: "The reconnaissance will really start at daybreak."

Florida Public Radio Emergency Network

With the whole state on alert from Hurricane Irma, it is important to know common hurricane terminology. The most important, and yet confusing, of which is the difference between a hurricane watch and warning.

In the simplest terms, if you are living in a county under a hurricane warning, you can expect hurricane conditions to affect your area. Whereas, if your county is under a hurricane watch, hurricane conditions are possible.

Keys Hospitals Begin To Evacuate As State Braces For Hurricane Irma

Sep 6, 2017

Gov. Rick Scott warned Floridians on Tuesday that powerful Hurricane Irma will start impacting the state by the end of the week — it's just not clear where.

Hurricane Irma's looming arrival is already preventing the Miami Dolphins and Florida International from hosting their respective home openers this weekend, with more changes almost certain to happen in the coming days.

The Dolphins were scheduled to host to Tampa Bay on Sunday afternoon; FIU was to host Alcorn State on Saturday night. Officials decided on Tuesday that neither of those games will be played in South Florida, though they may be played elsewhere this weekend.

National Hurricane Center

Updated at 8:05 p.m.

The catastrophic Category 5 Hurricane Irma continues to batter the Caribbean and head towards South Florida and Miami-Dade County has issued voluntary evacuation orders for the City of Miami Beach and Zones A and B (you can find your zones here).

According to the National Hurricane Center, Hurricane Irma's eye passed over the northernmost Virgin Islands this afternoon and hurricane watches could be issued in the Florida Keys and the mainland as soon as Thursday.

Here's A Reminder Of What You Need In Case Of Hurricane

Sep 5, 2017
FPREN / Courtesy

It's been 12 years since the last major hurricane hit South Florida, so we'd like to help you find and dust off your hurricane supplies.

It's best to buy and prep now to avoid long lines and stores running out of stock.

Here's what you need in a disaster supply kit:

Associated Press

Forty-two percent of all South Floridians rent their homes. And as it turns out, there’s not a whole lot of obligation for landlords to help tenants prepare for a coming storm.

Pilar Uribe / WLRN

See a spike in prices of essential items you will need to be prepared for an eventual landing of Hurricane Irma in Florida? State authorities want to hear about it.

After Gov. Rick Scott declared an official state of emergency in Florida's 67 counties on Monday, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi opened the hotline 1-866-9-NO-SCAM so consumers can report incidents of price gouging.

Hurricane Irma Strengthened To Category 5

Sep 5, 2017

Updated: 4:35 p.m. 

Hurricane Irma has become the most powerful hurricane on record in the Atlantic Ocean outside the Caribbean or the Gulf of Mexico. 

The storm is a strong Category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, with sustained winds up to 185 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Floridians are old pros when it comes to hurricane preparation, but these last few years of near hurricane drought may have taken the edge off storm preparation.

But Harvey's Texas devastation is a stark reminder about the kind of damage a major hurricane can do.

Irma Now a Category 4 with an Eye on Florida

Sep 5, 2017

Irma strengthened Monday afternoon to a Category 4 storm, and the latest forecast data suggests the Major Hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call in the past few days, but it’s now time for all Floridians in a hurricane prone area - no matter which coast you live along - to take Irma seriously.

NOAA

Florida Governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday afternoon as Hurricane Irma strengthened into a Category 4 storm.

Irma strengthened Monday, and new forecast data suggests the major hurricane will approach South Florida this weekend. It was too soon to make or deny that call over the weekend, but confidence is increasing that the Category 3 storm will come very close, it not make a direct hit, on the Sunshine State in six to eight days.

NOAA

Hurricane Irma strengthened to 120 mph sustained winds by the 8 a.m. Monday morning advisory. The Category 3 storm is expected to get more muscular throughout Tuesday and Monday, as it edges toward the Caribbean.

Hurricane watches were posted for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, Sint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy, which could start to see hurricane and tropical storm conditions by late Tuesday.

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