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Florida Officials Urge Citizens To Evacuate As Hurricane Irma Bears Down

Navy photo/Handout via REUTERS

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Chris White Tech Reporter

Local Florida officials urged citizens Tuesday to leave areas of the state that are expected to take the brunt of Hurricane Irma’s wrath.

Irma, which is currently barreling toward Florida at nearly 185 mph, is gathering steam in the Atlantic, prompting authorities to warn citizens about the potential power from the storm.

“This hurricane is far too powerful, poses far too great a threat for us to delay actions any further,” Miami Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez told reporters at a news briefing ahead of Irma’s possible landfall.

He said that officials will likely begin asking the county’s nearly 2.7 million residents to begin evacuating by Wednesday. Irma, which is currently classified as a Category 5 hurricane, is expected to roll over Puerto Rico Wednesday before arriving in Florida Saturday.

“This is a powerful storm which poses a serious threat to our area,” Gimenez said. “I would rather inconvenience our residents on this occasion than suffer any unnecessary loss of life if in fact we are hit by hurricane Irma. It is still too early to know if we will take a direct hit.”

In the meantime, Floridians have already begun stocking up and preparing for the hurricane’s landfall, even if the storm diverts course and heads back out to sea. Residents are emptying local stores of emergency supplies such as bottled water, the Miami Herald reports.

Officials are sparing no expense, due to the impact of Hurricane Harvey in Texas. Harvey caused billions of dollars of damage from torrential rain and resulted in the deaths of more than 50 people, with more expected to come once water levels begin receding.

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