Hurricane Irma Strengthens Into Category 5, and Florida Braces for Possible Landfall
Hurricane Irma, fresh on the heels of Hurricane Harvey, strengthened early Tuesday into a Category 5 storm with maximum winds of 175 miles per hour, as Florida started to prepare for its potential landfall over the weekend.
The latest forecasts have Irma on a more direct path toward South Florida, raising the possibility that the United States could be hit with back-to-back major hurricanes. Gov. Rick Scott of Florida declared a state of emergency on Monday for the state’s 67 counties.
“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm, and Florida must be prepared,” Mr. Scott said in a statement. The last hurricane to hit Florida was Matthew last October, which brushed up along its east coast before making landfall in South Carolina as a Category 1 storm.