Its path has shifted westward, putting more of Florida and the South in its path.
Last night, Storm Surge Warnings for the Keys and South Florida released:
In Florida, Governor Rick Scott urged citizens throughout the state to head for safer ground as Irma is appearing to take a straight path up the peninsula of the state.
“If you live in any evacuation zones and you’re still at home, leave!” Scott warned Floridians at a news conference Thursday. “Do not try to ride out this storm … we can’t save you once the storm hits.”
Evacuees have headed north from Florida into Georgia, where traffic is heavy and stores as far north as metro Atlanta are running out of bottled water and other staples. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia has issued a mandatory evacuation order for anyone east of Interstate 95 and declared a state of emergency for 30 counties in the southeastern part of the state. These evacuations will add to the traffic burden in middle Georgia and metro Atlanta, both of which are also along Irma’s projected trajectory.
Forecasters say that Irma shows signs of little weakening as it turns toward Florida. Pray for everyone in Irma’s path, and if you live in the Southeast – especially along the coast – pay attention to weather reports all weekend long.