Gov. Rick Scott has ordered a mandatory evacuation for residents of Monroe County. Those impacted by the evacuation can use the diagram below to view suggested evacuation routes:
Officials announced a mandatory evacuation Wednesday for visitors at 7 a.m.
Now, residents have been told to leave starting at 7 p.m.
During a press briefing Wednesday morning, Scott said a hospital in the island chain would have its patients evacuated by air.
Storm models show the possibility of multiple paths for Hurricane Irma, but Scott warned residents not to wait to see what happens. He urged everyone to take the evacuation orders seriously, no matter where they live.
"The entire state needs to be prepared," Scott said, adding that the storm could hit the east or west coast of Florida this weekend.
Scott warned that it could still have a major impact on the state from the storm surge alone. Irma is currently one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded.