Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 hurricane, is the strongest hurricane strike on the Florida Keys in 57 years and will then deliver a potentially catastrophic strike to the parts of western Florida.
(FULL COVERAGE OF IRMA: Hurricane Central)
Life-threatening and historic storm surge is likely in parts of South Florida, according to the National Weather Service.
A storm surge warning has been issued from the South Santee River southward to the Jupiter Inlet and on the peninsula from North Miami Beach to the Ochlockonee River, including the Florida Keys and Tampa Bay.
(INTERACTIVE: How Much Storm Surge May Occur)
In addition, hurricane and tropical storm watches and warnings have been issued.
Hurricane warnings now extend as far north as Fernandina Beach on the Atlantic side, and up to Indian Pass on the Gulf side, and well into southern Georgia. Included in the hurricane warnings are the Florida Keys, Naples, Ft. Myers, the Tampa/St. Petersburg metro, Miami, West Palm Beach, Tallahassee, Thomasville and Valdosta.
Hurricane warnings also continue for a portion of a north coast of Cuba. Hurricane warnings mean hurricane conditions are either occurring or expected to occur within 36 hours.
A hurricane watch is also in effect for the Georgia coast northward to Edisto Beach, South Carolina. A watch means hurricane conditions are possible within 48 hours.
Tropical storm warnings are in effect for the western Florida panhandle outside of the Pensacola metro area and along the Georgia and South Carolina coasts up to the South Santee River.
Copyright 2017 SW Florida Reporter