Speed Reads

Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma strengthens to a Category 4 storm, prompts states of emergency in Florida, Puerto Rico

Hurricane Irma strengthened to a Category 4 storm on Monday evening, with maximum sustained winds near 150 miles per hour early Tuesday, the National Hurricane Center said. Irma is centered about 320 miles east of the Leeward Islands, and is expected to make landfall on the island of Anguilla early Wednesday. The hurricane is projected to hit Florida on Sunday, though its path is unpredictable. Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) has declared a preparatory state of emergency in all 67 counties. Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands have also declared states of emergency, and Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has activated the National Guard and canceled school starting Tuesday.

There is still a chance that Irma could swerve and avoid the continental United States, WPTV News' Steve Weagle explains in the report below, but most paths lead directly through South Florida. Still, he adds, unlike Hurricane Harvey, Irma isn't expected to linger over land and cause terrible flooding. Peter Weber