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When preparations and evacuations MUST be completed...
  • Key West, Miami and Fort Lauderdale – sunset tonight
  • Naples, Ft. Myers, West Palm and Ft. Pierce – noon Saturday
  • Sarasota, Bradenton, Melbourne – sunset Saturday
  • Tampa, Orlando, Daytona Beach – 6 am Sunday
  • Ocala, Gainesville, Jacksonville, St. Augustine – noon Sunday

Hundreds of thousands of South Floridians in the path of Major Hurricane Irma have less than 24 hours to make a decision. A decision to find higher ground, a sturdier structure, or hit the highway. Doing nothing is also a decision, but potentially a life-threatening one.

The winds of Irma are strong enough to leave homes and businesses “uninhabitable for weeks”, so says the National Weather Service in Miami. The storm surge will be high enough in some spots to move miles inland. The rain will fall at a rate too fast for drainage systems and waterways to contain. And further inland, tornadoes could spin up very quickly, exacerbating the structural damage and threat to life for anyone not in a safe place.

Former FEMA Administrator Craig Fugate told us during a Facebook Live last night that “This is about as bad as it gets. This storm is bringing everything.”  He believes if we wait for “certainty”, it will be too late.

Before we get to how bad it "could" get...

This story will be updated often on the meteorology and potential hazards at various locations throughout the State of Florida, as we gain a better understanding of how severe the impacts could be. Those updates will be posted by midday.

For information on evacuation orders, visit the State of Florida Hurricane Irma Disaster Info page. For help with evacuation zones, routes, and open shelters, our mobile app Florida Storms is a great resource.

This Post Has 2 Comments
  1. We left Indialantic this morning under mandatory evacuation and we are now in the Lake Mary area in Orlando and I am concerned whether we will have to evacuate this area at some point. Traveling with family and Grand children.
    Will the local people advise us to evacuate or do we have to stay for the storm?

  2. Hi Jeff,
    I just wanted to say THANK YOU for putting up that message to Consider waking up family and friends in the Ft. Myers/Tampa area. Yes, it was late, yes, I was worried about waking them, but when the new update was released and we learned this storm shifted greatly to the west, even I knew this was serious. I could tell the newsroom was shocked, worried and concerned when it came back on air, so I called my family in Ft. Myers to warn them. I did not know if they knew or not but I knew it was a life threatening situation.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you, all of you, for keeping it real, telling us how it is, and taking a chance when your heart told you too. I know that message saved many lives!!!
    Keep up the excellent work!! I am thankful to have a REAL weather channel I canTRUST and turn to in major events! Thank you!!
    God bless all of you and your families through this storm and always!
    Marcie Jean
    Melbourne,, FL
    PS: I noticed how well all of you handle those stupid comments some people post. How do younz keep your cool? Another fine and professional job done well. I fear, that if I were dealing with that childishness, I would find myself out of a job, sued, AND in jail. Lol
    Keep it real you guys! Once again,THANK YOU ALL.

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Post Series: Irma
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