Florida residents continue evacuating their homes, heading west and north as Hurricane Irma is set to make landfall early Sunday and continue its path from the Florida Keys north to Georgia.
The state imposed some mandatory warnings, including of Key Biscayne and Miami Beach, affecting about 660,000 people, making it the Miami-Dade County’s largest evacuation ever, Mayor Carlos A Gimenez said, according to The Washington Post.
On Friday afternoon, it was battering the Caribbean after inflicting destruction on many smaller islands, including Barbuda, where 95 percent of the structures are reportedly destroyed. Irma so far has caused 19 deaths and left hundreds of thousands without electricity.
The National Hurricane Center on Friday said the storm, now a Category 4 hurricane, will have life-threatening winds of about 150 miles per hour.
“It’s not a question of if Florida’s going to be impacted, it’s a question of how bad Florida’s going to be impacted and where the storm ends up,” William “Brock” Long, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, said at a briefing on Friday, according to The Washington Post.
Florida experienced widespread destruction in 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, but officials warn that Hurricane Irma will be more devastating.