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A quick rundown of the 'extremely dangerous' Hurricane Irma

Posted September 6

Not even two weeks after Hurricane Harvey flooded Houston, another hurricane is barreling toward the United States’ coast, and forecasters are worried about it.

The Washington Post reported that Hurricane Irma upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane overnight, heading right for the southern coast of Florida.

Forecasters expect the hurricane to possibly make landfall this weekend around southern Florida and the Gulf of Mexico.

The National Hurricane Center said Irma is an “extremely dangerous” storm, WashPost reported.

“Preparations should be rushed to completion in the hurricane warning area,” the NHC said, according to WashPost.

Here’s a quick rundown of what’s going on with Irma heading into its potential landfall.

How much rain?: According to The Miami Herald, the storm will dump close to 10 inches of rain, causing flash floods through the area. Waves could reach 23 feet high.

Give me context: Irma is already a Category 5 with winds close to 175 mph. That would make it the strongest hurricane since Felix in 2007, USA Today reported.

Need more context?: According to The Weather Channel, Hurricane Harvey, which left Houston flooded and damaged in late August, only reached at Category 4 hurricane before making landfall.

So how big is it?: Hurricane Irma is bigger than the state of Ohio, as one reporter pointed out.

State of emergency: Both Florida and Puerto Rico declared states of emergency on Monday, according to CNN.

Gov. Rick Scott said his state will plan for the worst, even if there’s a chance it won’t make landfall.

"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," Scott said in a statement. "This state of emergency allows our emergency management officials to act swiftly in the best interest of Floridians without the burden of bureaucracy or red tape."

Preparations underway: Forecasters have advised those in Southern Florida to restock food and supplies before the storm makes landfall, The Miami Herald reported. The National Weather Service advised Floridians have an action plan in place.

No flight zone: American Airlines canceled flights to St. Kitts and St. Maarten for Tuesday and Wednesday, though they added flights out of those areas instead, USA Today reported. American Airlines also plans to waive fees for passengers who need to change flights due to Irma.

SeaWorld’s peace of mind: Similar to American Airlines, SeaWorld will follow its “Peace of Mind” Hurricane Policy, which refunds travelers and ticket holders if their visit is disrupted by a hurricane.

From above: NASA's Short-term Prediction Research and Transition Center tweeted a video of the storm from above.

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