Irma packing winds of 140 mph; Florida declares state of emergency

Irma packing winds of 140 mph; Florida declares state of emergency
Irma packing winds of 140 mph; Florida declares state of emergency
Posted at 3:41 AM, Sep 05, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-05 03:41:00-04

 (RNN) - Hurricane Irma continues moving west packing winds of 140 mph at 11 p.m. ET putting Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands under Hurricane Warnings.

The Category 4 hurricane has strengthened as it moves toward the Caribbean. The hurricane is now about 410 miles east of the Leeward Islands, and is moving west at 13 mph.

Florida Gov. Rick Scott tweeted on Monday night that he has already talked to President Donald Trump who offered the resources of the federal government to the Sunshine State as Floridians get ready for a possible Irma impact.

Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday in all of the state's 67 counties in response to Irma. That declaration gives local governments the time and tools they need to prepare, the governor's office said in a release.

"I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma's path, potentially impacting millions of Floridians," Scott said. "In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared."

Irma's general motion toward the west is expected to continue into Tuesday, followed by a turn toward the west-northwest late Tuesday. The forecast track has the center of Irma moving near or over part of the northern Leeward Islands Tuesday night and early Wednesday.

Hurricane Warnings are in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustasius, Saint Maarten, Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello declared a state of emergency after the National Hurricane Center issued a hurricane watch for the U.S. island territory.

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