Just a week after Hurricane Harvey struck Texas with unprecedented rains that resulted to devastating floods, a new storm is coming again. Hurricane Irma hits the Caribbean islands as a massive category 5 storm, and it is expected to make landfall in Florida over the weekend.
The new hurricane, one of the strongest storms ever seen from the Atlantic, slammed the islands of the Caribean today, Associated Press reports. The Antiguan police had little choice but to wait until winds died down somewhat before they can assess the damage.
There were three casualties reported so far, according to NBC News.
Category 5 winds ripped the roof of a police station, sending the occupants fleeing to a nearby fire station in the island of Barbuda, right next to Puerto Rico where the Hurricane is headed next.
The latest forecast from the National Hurricane Center expects Irma to hit Miami, and then follow the east coast to slam Florida. At its size, the effects of the hurricane are expected to be felt before the weekend, even as Irma is still way off.
James Belanger, meteorologist for the Weather Company, expects as much. "Even if Irma does take this trajectory passing directly over the eastern coast, we certainly would expect it to impact the whole state," he said to Business Insider.
Federal and state officials are warning people as early as now to prepare for the storm. Irma's path may still take it away from a collision course with South Florida, but it's best to be ready, state governor Rick Scott said on Tuesday.
"We do not know the exact path of this storm, but weather can change in an instant, and while we hope for the best, we must prepare for the worst," Gov. Scott said, as he activated the state national guard to support preparations.