MIAMI - Hurricane Irma is edging closer and closer to Florida as millions brace for impact. Evacuations and curfews have been ordered for millions of people.
Overnight, Irma strengthened after moving off the coast of Cuba and regained category 4 status, with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph.
The tropical cyclone moving at 6 mph has also turned to the northwest and is headed toward an expected first landfall Sunday morning along the Florida Keys.
The outer bands of Hurricane Irma are lashing the Florida Keys and whipping up strong surf in Miami. More than 6 million people in Florida have been ordered to get out of their homes, making this one of the largest evacuations in American history.
"This is your last chance to make a good decision," Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday night. "Do not put yourself or your family's life at risk. We have been very aggressive about in our preparation for this storm, and now it's upon us."
A storm-surge warning has been issued for much of the South Florida and Central Florida coastlines, past Tampa on the west coast and Melbourne on the east. Coastal waters could rise 10 to 15 feet above normally dry land, completely inundating homes, businesses, and roads.
Forget the tide. Regardless of high/low tide, catastrophic storm surge flooding expected along portions of FL W coast & FL Keys.— NHC_Surge (@NHC_Surge) September 9, 2017
"Nobody's out of the woods yet. I mean, the size of this hurricane is incredible," said local resident David Morales, who believes he's prepared.
Tampa resident Scott Defraties said there's "a lot of anxiety because we don't really know what is going to be happening."
President Donald Trump, who is monitoring the impact of Hurricane Irma during a retreat at Camp David, tweeted out a video message of support.
"I ask everyone in the storm path to heed all instructions get out of its way," the president says in the video. "We're doing everything possible to save lives and support those in need and we've never seen anything like this. Together, we will recover, restore and rebuild."
This is a storm of enormous destructive power, and I ask everyone in the storm’s path to heed ALL instructions from government officials. pic.twitter.com/nJfM2Sdme1— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 9, 2017
Hurricane Irma is expected to roll up the west coast of Florida from the keys all the way to Tampa, but nobody in its path appears to be safe, Fox News' Joel Waldman reported Saturday night from Miami.