Hurricane Irma: 'Get out now,' says governor

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Elardo says a lot can happen in five days, and Hurricane Irma could blow out to sea this weekend.

Hurricane Harvey's destruction in Texas may not have altered Florida's well-tested storm plans, but it appears to have infused residents with a new sense of urgency as they prepare for approaching Hurricane Irma.

Irma made its first landfall Wednesday morning, pummeling a set of exotic Caribbean islands and sparking a "major humanitarian crisis".

That's what officials across the state are asking as Hurricane Irma crashed into Caribbean islands Wednesday on a path that could take it toward the United States.

Next in its path are Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, Haiti, Cuba and the Bahamas.

"For the Florida Keys, if you were to create the worst case scenario that is what we are looking at", Monroe County Emergency Operations Center Director Martin Senterfitt said to CBS Miami.

U.S. authorities are urging residents to prepare for a "record-breaking" hurricane headed toward Florida as the storm known as Irma brings destruction to the Caribbean.

With a tightly defined eye, high maximum winds and gusts of up to 195 knots - or 225 miles per hour - Irma has left weather forecasters flabbergasted.

More than 100 New Zealanders are in the firing line of the monstrous Hurricane Irma.

Hurricane Irma is now moving over Caribbean islands, and looks to be en route to Florida with winds reaching up to 185 miles per hour.

Irma, which is now a Category-5 hurricane, is expected to hit Florida.

On Necker Island we have constructed really strong buildings (with hurricane blinds) that should be able to handle extreme weather pretty well, though with a Category 5 hurricane nearly nothing can withstand it.

National Weather Service Meteorologist John Elardo said chances are good that North Carolina might feel the effects of the Hurricane early next week. Its winds are expected to top 100 miles per hour within the next two days. Unlike Harvey, which moved to north and strengthened rapidly, Katia is expected to stick close to Mexico.

Speaking in a Facebook Live interview with ABS TV, Browne said evacuation, for now, will be voluntary and will become mandatory if Tropical Storm Jose poses a threat to the islands. There are not watches or warnings now associated with the storm.