The National Hurricane Center has placed the state of Florida on official watch as Hurricane Irma is on track for weekend arrival. On Wednesday, the Category 5 storm devastated the Caribbean leaving eight reported deaths in its wake and totally leveling the island of Barbuda leaving it barely habitable. With maximum sustained winds of 180 mph, the storm is far from over. Currently bearing down on Puerto Rico with potential catastrophe reaching the Virgin Islands, the Dominican Republic, Haiti and Cuba, Hurricane Irma shows no signs of slowing down.
Shocking: Power utility company in Puerto Rico estimates Island will be without electricity for "4 to 6 months." https://t.co/OX7RrTWugT
— Claude Brodesser (@ClaudeBrodesser) September 6, 2017
On record as the most powerful Atlantic storm, the Category 5 storm is on a projected path toward South Florida this weekend. The National Weather Service has issued an advisory stating, "Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful Category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days."
The possibility of 'major impact' on Florida has increased — here are the latest updates on Hurricane Irma pic.twitter.com/ehZ1sbsCIn
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) September 7, 2017
Actor Robert De Niro, who co-owns a resort on the island of Barbuda, released a statement pledging his support to rebuilding efforts there saying, “We are beyond saddened to learn of the devastation in Barbuda caused from Hurricane Irma and look forward to working with the Paradise Found Nobu Resort team, the Barbuda Council, GOAB and the entire Barbuda community to successfully rebuild what nature has taken away from us.”
Our thoughts are with those in the path of the devastating hurricane, as well as those who are coping with its aftermath. We'll keep you posted as details unfold.