Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade, hit Cuba overnight as a rare Category 5 storm before being downgraded to a Category 3 Saturday morning. It is expected to strengthen again as it heads toward Florida.
As of about 3 p.m. Saturday, Irma was 140 miles southeast of Key West with winds of 125 mph. It was moving west at 9 mph and is expected to turn north and head up the western coast of Florida, making landfall on Sunday.
“This is a life-threatening situation,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said Saturday. “Our state has never seen anything like it.”
The governor stressed the dangers of what he called a “deadly, deadly, deadly storm surge.”
ABC News meteorologists are forecasting storm surges of 10 feet in Tampa and Sarasota, and 10 to 15 feet from Fort Myers to Naples. Somewhat lower storm surges of 3 to 6 feet may occur from Miami to Key Largo.