As Irma hits the Florida Keys, it makes USA history

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Mammoth Hurricane Irma, Jose's scope breathtaking from spaceThe company said it has assembled the largest pre-storm workforce in USA history, with more than 16,000 people ready to respond. "These are all Irma rain bands".

The Key West International Airport measured sustained winds of 50 miles per hour (80 kph) with a gust of up to 70 miles per hour (113 kph), according to the hurricane center.

Miami Beach, on the other hand, has a steep dropoff to its continental shelf, which could limit the storm surge to about eight or nine feet under a Category 4 hurricane.dropoff to its continental shelf, which could limit the storm surge to about eight or nine feet under a Category 4 hurricane.

"A trajectory west of previous forecasts will still mean hurricane-force winds for the entire southern portion of Florida from coast to coast", said Shunondo Basu, meteorologist and natgas analyst at Bloomberg New Energy Finance.

The storm surge potential is already dire for Naples and Tampa, he said, and the Florida Keys will take a direct hit.

Conditions improve on Tuesday and Wednesday when the rain chances ease back to 20 and 30 percent and the winds subside even more.

In one of the largest USA evacuations, almost 7 million people in the Southeast were warned to seek shelter elsewhere, including 6.4 million in Florida alone. Nearly 400 shelters are open in counties in the path of the storm.

The Tampa Bay area, with a population of about 3 million, has not been hit by a major hurricane since 1921.

"We're as prepared as you can be for such an event, that I can say", Trump said during the Cabinet meeting at the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, according to video footage posted on Twitter.

He also spoke before state and local officials had begun to assess the damage.

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This is the scene in south Florida this morning.

Meanwhile, Hurricane Katia made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico, causing mudslides that killed at least two people. The country was struck by a powerful natural disaster on Friday, shaking buildings in the capital and triggering a tsunami warning.

"All that wind is pushing water right up against the southeast coast of Florida", Brennan said. A tropical storm warning was issued for the first time ever in Atlanta, some 200 miles (320 kilometers) from the sea.

Palm trees blow in the high wind in the Florida Keys. The streets emptied and shops were boarded up before the wind started to howl.

In the low-lying Keys, where a storm surge of over 10 feet (3 meters) was recorded, appliances and furniture were seen floating away, and Monroe County spokeswoman Cammy Clark said the ocean waters were filled with navigation hazards, including sunken boats. Local officials will let you know when it is safe.

"If you're in an evacuation zone, you've got to get to a shelter, need to get to a shelter. there's not many hours left", Florida Governor Rick Scott warned residents.

Although widespread wind damage isn't anticipated in South Florida, residents in the area can expect strong coastal inundation, flooding and tornadoes.

President Donald Trump has urged any U.S. residents still in Hurricane Irma's path to "just get out of its way" and not worry about possessions, as he monitored the powerful storm's advance on Florida from the secluded Camp David presidential retreat.

Florida Power & Light Co. said it now has 16,000 fix staff in the state, triple the normal amount.

Hurricane Harvey brought devastating flooding to Houston less than two weeks ago.