As Houston tries picking up the pieces a little more than a week after Hurricane Harvey, Florida is preparing for the worst as Hurricane Irma appears on the horizon. Florida governor Rick Scott declared a state of emergency on Monday following the news that Irma grew to a category 4 with a maximum sustained winds of 130 mph. Irma is projected to make contact with South Florida over the weekend.
“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared. I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians,” Gov. Scott said in a statement. “Today, given these forecasts and the intensity of this storm, I have declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities as we get prepared for this storm.”
Ricardo Rosselló, the governor of Puerto Rico, also declared a state of emergency and has called on the National Guard.
With Irma expected to only grow in strength over the next few days, it could become the biggest hurricane to make landfall in South Florida since Hurricane Andrew, a category 5 storm, in 1992. Meteorologist Ryan Maue reports that there’s a more than 50 percent chance Florida will be hit by a category 4 or 5 Irma.