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Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Florida sets to evacuate over Hurricane Irma

Residents of the Florida Keys are known for riding out hurricanes, but with Irma's potentially catastrophic wind and rain set to crash through the low-lying island chain this weekend, not many seem willing to risk it this time.


Throughout Florida, officials and residents are making preparations, but forecasts indicate the Keys could take the country's first blow from the Category 5 storm, which was packing 185 mph (295 kph) winds early Wednesday as it crossed Barbuda. From Key Largo south to Key West, residents and officials said Irma is a storm that needs to be fled, Times reports.

Keys officials are expected to announce a mandatory evacuation Wednesday for visitors, with residents being told to leave the next day. Florida Gov. Rick Scott, who plans to fly to the Keys on Wednesday, said a hospital in the island chain would have its patients evacuated by air.

"This is not one to fool around with," said Cammy Clark, spokeswoman for Monroe County, which contains the Keys.


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