Slow-moving hurricane Irma hits Florida; residents asked to take shelter

Slow-moving hurricane Irma hits Florida; residents asked to take shelter

On highway 75 along the western coast of Florida, a steady stream of cars pressed northward as thousands fled at the last minute from the fast-approaching killer hurricane.

Irma is currently churning with sustained 130 mph winds.

"The Sarasota area could begin feeling tropical storm force winds in the next few hours".

However, it was the contrast with the uncertainty in the US that was probably the real reason for EUR/USD's positive response, as the dollar's weakness is not just a euro phenomenon.

The center of the hurricane made landfall at 9:10 a.m. A 106 mph gust was reported at the National Key Deer Refuge in Big Pine Kay.

The storm will be devastating for central Florida, Tampa, Fort Myers and Key West, CNN meteorologist Chad Myers said.

"You can't survive these storm surges.You've got to get out".

"We weren't able to respond".

In Naples, crews saw no major structural damage and only minimal flooding in their initial post-storm tours, Mayor Bill Barnett said.

The storm, located about 5 miles (10 kilometers) west of Columbus, Georgia, is still bringing heavy rain to the U.S. Southeast on Monday night. "That would have been catastrophic".

As Irma rolled in, Cuban soldiers went through coastal towns to force residents to evacuate, taking people to shelters at government buildings and schools - and even caves.

VICE PRESIDENT MIKE PENCE: Wherever Hurricane Irma goes, we'll be there first. Upon leaving Florida, a weakened Irma is expected to push into Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and beyond. Additional weakening is forecast.

Irma's threat prompted Tampa officials to order a 6 p.m. curfew for Sunday evening.

Irma, packing maximum sustained winds of 215km/h, was upgraded overnight to a category 4 storm as it closed in on the Keys, the National Hurricane Centre (NHC) said.

The 51-year-old pop singer felt safe on the 25th floor of an appartment block built to withstand hurricane-force winds. The agency will fly a drone aircraft along the 100-mile stretch of road Monday morning. The entire island of Barbuda, population 1,600, has been evacuated again. "Definitely not right now".

Stroud said early Sunday that the wind was blowing hard, but her family was OK. "Now we have to hunker down and watch out for each other". A storm surge warning wraps around the state, from Brevard County to Tampa Bay. They are named because they form from tropical disturbances near the Cape Verde Islands - off the west coast of Africa.

Players from the Red Sox, Rays, Panthers and Boston Bruins will help run a collection for Irma relief at Fenway Park before and during the Red Sox-Rays game on Sunday.

- Strong winds blowing from the northeast pushed water out of shallow parts of bays and harbors in cities like Tampa and Port Charlotte.

Civil Defense official Gregorio Torres said authorities were trying to tally the extent of the damage in eastern Cuba, home to hundreds of rural communities.

Much is still uncertain about how the storm's impact on Florida. "There's just no power or water".

Sailboats moored near Watson Island rode out the winds and waves as Hurricane Irma passed today in Miami Beach, Fla.

"I will tell you in no uncertain terms - and I am not going to sugarcoat it - this is going to be a difficult storm", Buckhorn said at the news conference. "We need to be buttoned up and hunkered down, especially (Monday) afternoon when it peaks".

Irma is a CAT 3 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Videos and photos captured images of the twister on the ground in Oakland Park, about five miles north of Fort Lauderdale. No injuries have been reported.

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