Puerto Rico declares state of emergency for Hurricane Irma

Puerto Rico declares state of emergency for Hurricane Irma

While the path is subject to significant revisions over the coming days, the continental US may again see impacts from a major hurricane next weekend.

As of 8:30 p.m. on September 4, the storm was "about 730 miles east of San Juan PR or about 660 miles east of Saint Thomas". The storm became a Category 5 Tuesday morning and now has 185 miles per hour sustained winds.

One of the challenges of grappling with Irma is the vast federal and state resources sent to southeastern Texas after Hurricane Harvey cost the area up to $180 billion in damage from water and wind.

Governor of United States territory Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, said 10-20cm of rain was expected, as well as winds of 40-50mph as he warned of flooding and power cuts.

"Irma is expected to remain a unsafe major hurricane through the upcoming week and could directly effect the British and U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Hispaniola, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas, and Cuba", the NHC said. Beyond day five, reliable longer range forecast data suggests Hurricane Irma will make a sharp turn to the north near or over the peninsula of Florida.

Forecasters say the risky storm also looks increasingly likely to hit the U.S. East Coast, either in South Florida or the Carolinas. The hurricane is now about 410 miles east of the Leeward Islands, and is moving west at 13 mph. Wind speeds may increase as the hurricane continues to strengthen.

Latest models show a Category 3 or 4 hurricane between South Florida and Cuba by Saturday afternoon.

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Puerto Rico's governor also declared a state of emergency on Monday.

A hurricane watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.

Hurricane watches have been issued in Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, and forecasters expect them to be issued for the British and US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico later today.

Dennis Feltgen of the National Hurricane Center in Miami said it was still too early to determine the storm's impact on Florida.

"These rainfall amounts may cause life-threatening flash floods and mudslides". The question is of course how sharp of a turn does it make, and what areas lie in its path as it chugs northward.

Cape Verde storms frequently become some of the largest and most intense hurricanes.

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