Irma far from finished, moving towards U.S. mainland - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

Irma far from finished, moving towards U.S. mainland


Hurricane Irma took a deadly turn on Wednesday, killing at least three people in the Caribbean. 

It's the strongest storm ever in the Atlantic - outside of the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. 

Irma is far from finished, and she's moving towards the United States' mainland. The powerful Category 5 storm has sustained winds of 185 miles-per-hour. We are already seeing some of the devastating damage from where Irma has been. Homes were completely destroyed in Barbuda, and aerial footage shows the aftermath of the storm sweeping through. At least one death is confirmed. Close to 2,000 people live on the island, now full of debris. 

Back in the U.S., it's long lines for gas and supplies in Florida. That's for residents who are staying. For those leaving, it's bumper to bumper traffic heading north. There is a mandatory evacuation order in effect for all visitors in the Florida Keys. Wednesday night, the order went into effect for all residents. Things are also changing for people living in Miami Beach.

"The county just declared a mandatory evacuation. I have been telling our residents and our tourists as of yesterday 'get out of Miami Beach.' The storm is a nuclear hurricane.  So we are putting in pumps, portable pumps, portable generators. We've been offering sandbags to our residents so they can fortify their houses," said Mayor Philip Levine, Miami Beach. 

The mandatory evacuation for Miami Beach goes into effect Thursday morning. So far, it's estimated that about 25,000 people have already evacuated from the Keys.

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