At least nine people are dead at the expense of Hurricane Irma across a string of Caribbean Islands, including six people on St. Martin, two on St. Bart's and one in Barbuda.
The Category 5 storm has already maintained sustained winds of 180 mph longer than any other hurricane on record.
Irma knocked out electricity Wednesday for more than 1 million residents in Puerto Rico and devastated smaller islands, including Barbuda and the British Virgin Islands.
On Thursday morning, Irma's powerful core was moving off the northern coasts of the Dominican Republic and Haiti, with the potential of leaving up to 15 inches of rain in its wake -- amounts that could trigger dangerous flooding and mudslides, the National Hurricane Center said.
The tropical storm-force wind field from Irma stretches over 300 miles from end to end.
To add some perspective, if Irma were centered over New York City, the tropical storm-force winds would stretch from Baltimore to Boston.
South Florida counties currently in Irma’s projected course have each provided services for shelters, evacuation, and supply information:
- Florida emergency services has a “Know Your Zone” tool to see whether specific addresses are in an mandatory or voluntary evacuation area.
- Miami-Dade County, has mandatory evacuation zones along the coast
- Broward County has several voluntary evacuation zones and operating shelters
- Palm Beach County has created a number of shelters for residents
- Collier County has operating shelters and a local hotline, 239-252-8444