Hurricane Irma now a Category 5
Hurricane Irma continued to strengthen Tuesday as an "extremely dangerous" Category 5 storm, prompting states of emergency in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and Florida, sending residents to stores to prepare for the worst.
At this point, we do not know if the storm is going to turn northward. Even though Eastern North Carolina is very familiar with hurricanes, we need to take this storm seriously. Many of the homes in our area are built to withstand winds at 130 mph however Irma's maximum sustained winds had increased to near 175 mph.
Be sure your yard is clear of debis and/or furniture. Time to purchase tarps and check on the maintenance of your generators. Have emergency power blocks all charged for your cell phones.
"Some fluctuations in intensity are likely during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days," the NHC said.
Irma's center was expected to move near or over the northern Leeward Islands late Tuesday and early Wednesday before affecting Puerto Rico by Wednesday, the hurricane center said.
"Irma is now one of the strongest hurricanes we have witnessed in the last decade as a Cat 5 storm with winds of 175 mph," Fox News Senior Meteorologist Janice Dean said Tuesday.