Irma rakes Cuba as Category 5 hurricane

On this track, the best guess on wind speeds for Tampa and St. Pete is for sustained winds of 100 miles per hour or more with gusts to 120+. Irma will bring along life-threatening rains, winds, and flooding rains that may cause chaos.

Officials have warned of a humanitarian crisis in the islands of the Florida Keys.

The storm is expected to travel northward in Florida to Ft. Tropical storm Katia was also expected to weaken relatively quickly in the coming days. Forecasters, though, maintain that unsafe conditions still may be present on the east coastline - including some storm surge and heavy rain bands.

More than 6.7 million resident were still without power across the Sunshine State as of late Monday, representing about 64 percent of Florida energy customers, according to energy providers. Fortunately, no one was injured and the family safely returned home. So, it would not take much of a surge to reach Matthew level of 12.4'.

RICK SCOTT: The storm surge comes after the strongest winds. Then, there's the lone model taking the storm through The Bahamas before making another Florida landfall.

Evacuations in the state are at an all-time high in USA history.

Rain and winds will begin to diminish Tuesday as the remnant of Irma makes its way out of the area. It's an area that hasn't seen a hurricane in some 100 years. "We're not even at high tide yet", Howden said.

Florida roads congested ahead of Hurricane Irma

The massive storm triggered evacuation orders for 5.6 million people, and made two landfalls Sunday.

"If you don't need to be on the road get off and go to a shelter", he said.

President Donald Trump, attending a ceremony at the Pentagon on the 16th anniversary of the September 11 attacks, vowed a full response to Irma as well as ongoing federal support for victims of Hurricane Harvey, which flooded Texas.

"This is a catastrophic storm".

"I think folks listened to us", said Gastesi.

Tropical force winds will most likely arrive in Bradenton by 10 a.m. Sunday, according to the National Weather Service.

Irma, which hit Florida as a category four hurricane yesterday, has now been downgraded to a tropical storm. The hurricane is one of the most powerful and longest-lasting on record.

  • Julie Sanders