Irma is expected to make landfall overnight in Tampa.
To the east, in the Leeward Islands known as the playground for the rich and famous, governments came under criticism for failing to respond quickly to the hurricane, which flattened many towns and turned lush, green hills to a brown stubble. It was likely to regain Category 4 status before striking Florida, said NHC spokesman Dennis Feltgen.
What's with all these hurricane forecast models? Florida Gov. Rick Scott said it "will cover your house".
As Irma continued its unprecedented assault on the state, two of the four victims claimed in Florida were identified.
After filming the waves for around 10 seconds, he is suddenly blown back by one massive wave.
Sorry to pour cold water on all the finger-wagging, but, guys, come on.
It might seem like a strange warning, but there's a reason behind it: Around 80,000 people have expressed interest in a Facebook group titled "Shoot at Hurricane Irma," as of 8 a.m. Sunday.
The powerful storm has already forced the postponement of the annual Seminoles-Hurricanes showdown, which was scheduled to be played on Florida State's campus in Tallahassee on Sept. 16.
Irma will then move inland over the Florida panhandle and southwestern Georgia by Monday afternoon.
There is also a deadly threat of 15ft storm surges with residents being urged not to return home given the enormous outer bands as emergency officials told those who had ignored evacuation orders that it was too late. As the Associated Press noted, Tampa hadn't seen a major hurricane's direct hit in almost a century.
He said most of the patients admitted to the hospital have been treated for respiratory distress, dehydration and heat-related issues.
"I'd be lying if I said there weren't any distractions", FAU quarterback Daniel Parr, a South Floridian, said after the Owls lost 31-14 to the ninth-ranked Badgers.
"We're going to go to an interior hallway to be safe".
Ngai plans to crouch in the bathtub when it makes landfall.
More than 2000 flights in and out of Florida were cancelled on Saturday, according to tracking service FlightAware.com, and ground transport was scrambled by millions fleeing for safety. It regained some of its strength early Sunday, however, before its eyewall made contact with the Keys. Another dangled over the city's Edgewater neighborhood.
The first load will head to Florida Keys Marathon Airport.
Whatever you do, don't fire guns at Hurricane Irma as it rips through Florida.
- Police in North Miami Beach, Florida, said they'd used an armored personnel carrier to rescue a mother and her 4-month-old child from their flooded home.
The Tampa area hasn't been directly hit by a hurricane since 1921, but that's going to change today.
Storm surge has accounted for half the U.S. deaths from hurricanes, tropical storms and cyclones over the last half-century, according to a hurricane center study. No other vehicles or people were involved.
The storm was a Category 4 hurricane about 115 km south-southeast of Key West as of 2am local time (7am Irish time) with maximum sustained winds of 210kph, the NHC said. So we maybe assume the worst sometimes.
"Even if the streets do flood, I have enough supplies for a week without leaving my apartment", she said.
More than 6 million residents were encouraged to leave in an historic evacuation effort. On the northwest side of the island, it would be blowing the water away from the shoreline. "Their room was the best one".