After steamrolling several Caribbean islands, Hurricane Irma is advancing toward South Florida, still a dangerous storm.
“This is as real as it gets,” the US National Weather Service tweeted. It warned: “Nowhere in the Florida Keys will be safe!”
***THIS IS AS REAL AS IT GETS***
***NOWHERE IN THE FLORIDA KEYS WILL BE SAFE***
***YOU STILL HAVE TIME TO EVACUATE***
— NWS Key West (@NWSKeyWest) September 8, 2017
Early Saturday, the eye of the hurricane was continuing to move over the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba as a Category 4 storm, the US National Hurricane Center said. “Catastrophic and life-threatening wind and storm surge” are expected to hit the Florida Keys as early as Saturday night and into Sunday.
Officials expect a storm surge of 5-10 feet above ground over portions of the Florida Keys.
About 5.6 million people have been told to evacuate Florida- the largest evacuation in the state’s history – leading to traffic jams and fuel shortages across the state.
“If you have been ordered to evacuate, leave now. Not tonight, not in an hour, now,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Friday night.
It’s estimated that 9 million people in the state could be without power for weeks, the chief executive of Florida Power and Light Company Eric Silagy said in a news conference, according to the New York Times.
Hurricane Irma slammed into several Caribbean islands as a Category 5 storm on Wednesday and Thursday, killing at least 23 people.
Hurricane Jose, a Category 4 storm, is gaining strength as it heads toward a collection of islands in the Caribbean.
Hurricane Katia, which made landfall north of Tecolutla, Mexico late Friday as a Category 1 storm, is expected to weaken to a tropical storm in the next day, officials said.
Find all of Business Insider’s latest Hurricane Irma coverage here.