Hurricane Irma was upgraded to a category 4 storm at 2am on Sunday just hours before it was set to make landfall in Florida.
The hurricane started pounding southern Florida on Saturday afternoon as two tornadoes hit Broward County and warnings were issued about threats of 15ft storm surges. The National Hurricane Center said at midnight that Irma’s projected path continued to shift to the west, just a few crucial miles, which should keep its eye just off Florida’s west coast on a track to hit St. Petersburg, not Miami or even Tampa.
It was upgraded to a category 4 hurricane at 2am Sunday as it approached Florida Keys. Forecasts predict Irma will first make landfall over Key West at about 7am.
As of 2am Sunday, Irma was just 80 miles southeast of Key West and had sustained winds of 130mph. 6.3million people were told to evacuate and there are 70,000 people in evacuation shelters across Florida.
More than 200,000 homes and businesses in Florida have lost power already.