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Category 5 Hurricane Irma shifts back west

5 a.m advisory on Hurricane Irma shows the category 5 storm shifted slightly to the west. (WPEC)


As of the 5 a.m. advisory, Hurricane Irma remains a category 5 storm with winds of 180 mph. Slight westward shift has occurred as the storm moves off the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.

According to CNN, Hurricane Irma's death rises to death to 10. Officials say 1 person has died in Anguilla, six people in St. Martin, two in St. Barts and an infant in Barbuda.

As of 8:00 pm Hurricane Irma has maintained 185 mph winds. Irma is still a category 5 storm with a minimum central pressure of 914 mb.


Gov. Scott says Hurricane Irma, a category 5 hurricane is stronger, bigger and faster than Hurricane Andrew and people need to prepare now.

According to the New York Times, it has already caused two deaths in the French Caribbean.

The latest track, according to the 5 p.m. advisory, showed it packing 185 mph winds as it passed the Virgin Islands.

The storm is starting to brush Puerto Rico.

LIVE COVERAGE: HURRICANE IRMA (Mobile viewers click here to watch)


The power of Hurricane Irma is already being felt on the islands of Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

One woman shared video of her flooded apartment on the island of Guadeloupe.

The extremely dangerous hurricane passed over the islands of Barbuda and Antigua overnight, causing heavy rains and winds at those locations.

The storm continues moving West-Northwest at 16 m.p.h.

Hurricane-force winds extend up to 50 miles out and tropical storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles.

Those winds are now approaching Puerto Rico.

Irma will bring devastation, but also beauty. Air Force hurricane hunters captured a glimpse of the moon through the eye of the storm overnight.

Another storm is brewing in the Atlantic. Jose powered up to become a hurricane Wednesday afternoon with 75 mph winds.

LOCAL IMPACTS:

Palm Beach County Mayor Paulette Burdick says 15 local schools will open Friday to serve as shelters during Hurricane Irma. They can handle up to 50,000 residents. Burdick says there is no mandatory evacuation order in place as of 10 a.m. County leaders will talk with the National Hurricane Center at 5:15 p.m. to determine the next plan of action.

Those schools include:

Atlantic High School

Boca Raton High School

Boynton Beach High School

Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune Elem. School

Forest Hill High School

Independence Middle School

John I Leonard High School

Lakeshore Middle School

Palm Beach Central High School

Palm Beach Gardens High School

Park Vista High School

Pahokee Middle School

Seminole Ridge High School

West Boca High School

Westgate Elementary

Emergency operations will go to a partial activation Level 2 on Thursday morning, and a full activation Level 1 on Friday morning.

A pet friendly shelter will open Friday at 10 a.m. at West Boynton Recreation Center at 6000 Northtree Boulevard in Lake Worth. The pet friendly shelter is available to Palm Beach County residents residing in a mandatory evacuation zone or in mobile homes. Proof of residency is required. Space is limited and restrictions apply. Each pet must be accompanied by only one owner who will stay at the shelter. Other family members will need to stay at nearby Park Vista High School due to space restrictions. Livestock and reptiles will not be accepted. Pets will be housed in a separate area from people. Pet owners will be given a schedule to attend to their animal’s needs. You must register online.

West Palm Beach Mayor Jeri Muoio says the city is not announcing any evacuations or curfews just yet. The mayor reminded folks that if you are asked to evacuate, do so. Shelter openings will be announced on Friday.

American Airlines announced it is winding down operations at PBIA on Friday afternoon and canceling operations through the weekend. Flights scheduled to arrive in Miami Friday from Europe and South America have been canceled. Be sure to follow the travel alert.

FLORIDA IMPACTS:

Florida Gov. Rick Scott said during a 3 p.m. news conference that getting fuel to people who need it is a top priority.

"We are moving as much fuel through the system as fast as possible," said Scott. The governor asked people to only fill up with the fuel they need. Those staying put in the county should not fill up their tanks. Federal regulations have also been lifted to allow fuel to get here as quickly as possible.

Gov. Scott says people in Florida should start feeling the effects of Irma as early as Friday night, saying Irma is stronger, faster and bigger than Hurricane Andrew.

"We are preparing for Irma to directly impact our state," said Scott. "Do not sit and wait for this storm to come."

The governor says the storm is forecast to cover homes and go very far inland, with storm surge and extreme winds being the biggest concern.

Evacuation orders in the Keys are underway. Tourists began evacuating Wednesday morning. Residents will be evacuating Wednesday night. Emergency leaders are advising people to "know your zone" when making emergency plans.

Gov. Scott says do not focus on the exact path of the storm.

Mandatory evacuation orders have been issued for people who live in mobile homes, along the coast, and in low-lying areas in Broward County. It will kick in at noon on Thursday.

Miami-Dade County is evacuating special-needs residents who registered with the county. Shelters are being opened for voluntary evacuees from zones A and B. Miami International Airport will remain open until wind speeds reach 35 mph. Port Miami will close on Saturday.

Here is the latest from the National Hurricane Center:

EYE OF CATEGORY 5 HURRICANE IRMA MOVING AWAY FROM THE

NORTHERNMOST VIRGIN ISLANDS...

...TROPICAL STORM AND HURRICANE CONDITIONS SPREADING OVER PORTIONS

OF PUERTO RICO...

SUMMARY OF 500 PM AST...2100 UTC...INFORMATION

----------------------------------------------

LOCATION...18.8N 65.4W

ABOUT 40 MI...60 KM NW OF ST. THOMAS

ABOUT 55 MI...85 KM ENE OF SAN JUAN PUERTO RICO

MAXIMUM SUSTAINED WINDS...185 MPH...295 KM/H

PRESENT MOVEMENT...WNW OR 285 DEGREES AT 16 MPH...26 KM/H

MINIMUM CENTRAL PRESSURE...914 MB...26.99 INCHES

WATCHES AND WARNINGS

--------------------

CHANGES WITH THIS ADVISORY:

The government of the Bahamas has issued a Hurricane Warning for

the central Bahamas, including Cat Island, the Exumas, Long Island,

Rum Cay, and San Salvador. A Hurricane Watch has been issued for

the northwestern Bahamas, including the Abacos, Andros Island,

Berry Islands, Bimini, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama Island, and New

Providence.

The government of Cuba has issued a Tropical Storm Warning for the

Cuban provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, and Las Tunas.

The government of France has discontinued the Hurricane Warning for

Saint Martin and Saint Barthelemy.

SUMMARY OF WATCHES AND WARNINGS IN EFFECT:

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for...

* British Virgin Islands

* U.S. Virgin Islands

* Puerto Rico, Vieques, and Culebra

* Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border with

Haiti

* Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le

Mole St. Nicholas

* Southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands

* Central Bahamas

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for...

* Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province

* Northwestern Bahamas

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for...

* Dominican Republic from south of Cabo Engano westward to the

southern border with Haiti

* Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince

* Cuba provinces of Guantanamo, Holguin, and Las Tunas

A Hurricane Warning means that hurricane conditions are expected

somewhere within the warning area. Preparations to protect life and

property should be rushed to completion.

A Hurricane Watch means that hurricane conditions are possible

within the watch area. A watch is typically issued 48 hours

before the anticipated first occurrence of tropical-storm-force

winds, conditions that make outside preparations difficult or

dangerous.

A Tropical Storm Warning means that tropical storm conditions are

expected somewhere within the warning area.

Interests elsewhere in the Dominican Republic and Haiti, as well as

Cuba, the northwestern Bahamas, and Florida should monitor the

progress of Irma.

For storm information specific to your area in the United

States, including possible inland watches and warnings, please

monitor products issued by your local National Weather Service

forecast office. For storm information specific to your area

outside the United States, please monitor products issued by your

national meteorological service.

DISCUSSION AND 48-HOUR OUTLOOK

------------------------------

At 500 PM AST (2100 UTC), the eye of Hurricane Irma was located

near latitude 18.8 North, longitude 65.4 West. Irma is moving

toward the west-northwest near 16 mph (26 km/h), and this general

motion is expected to continue for the next couple of days. On the

forecast track, the extremely dangerous core of Irma will pass just

north of Puerto Rico tonight, pass near or just north of the coast

of Hispaniola Thursday, and be near the Turks and Caicos and

southeastern Bahamas by Thursday evening.

Maximum sustained winds are near 185 mph (295 km/h) with higher

gusts. Irma is a category 5 hurricane on the Saffir-Simpson

Hurricane Wind Scale. Some fluctuations in intensity are likely

during the next day or two, but Irma is forecast to remain a

powerful category 4 or 5 hurricane during the next couple of days.

Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 50 miles (85 km) from the

center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 185 miles

(295 km). A wind gust to 62 mph (100 km/h) has been recently

reported at San Juan, Puerto Rico.

The estimated minimum central pressure based on Air Force

reconnaissance aircraft data is 914 mb (26.99 inches).

HAZARDS AFFECTING LAND

----------------------

STORM SURGE: The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and

large breaking waves will raise water levels ABOVE NORMAL TIDE

LEVELS by the following amounts within the hurricane warning area

near and to the north of the center of Irma. Near the coast, the

surge will be accompanied by large and destructive waves.

Turks and Caicos Islands...15 to 20 ft

Southeastern and central Bahamas...15 to 20 ft

Northern coast of the Dominican Republic...3 to 5 ft

Northern coast of Haiti and the Gulf of Gonave...1 to 3 ft

Northern coast of Cuba in the warning area...5 to 10 ft

Water levels in the Leeward Islands will gradually subside tonight.

The combination of a life-threatening storm surge and the tide will

cause normally dry areas near the coast to be flooded by rising

waters moving inland from the shoreline. The water is expected to

reach the following HEIGHTS ABOVE GROUND if the peak surge occurs at

the time of high tide...

British and U.S. Virgin Islands except St. Croix...7 to 11 ft

Northern coast of Puerto Rico...4 to 6 ft

Southern coast of Puerto Rico and St. Croix...2 to 4 ft

The deepest water will occur along the immediate coast in areas of

onshore winds, where the surge will be accompanied by large and

destructive waves. Surge-related flooding depends on the relative

timing of the surge and the tidal cycle, and can vary greatly over

short distances. For information specific to your area, please see

products issued by your local National Weather Service forecast

office.

WIND: Tropical Storm and Hurricane conditions are occurring over

the British and U.S. Virgin Islands and will spread westward over

portions of Puerto Rico tonight. Hurricane conditions are expected

to begin within the hurricane warning area in the Dominican Republic

and Haiti early Thursday, with tropical storm conditions beginning

tonight. Hurricane conditions are expected to begin in the warning

area in the southeastern Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands on

Thursday with tropical storm conditions by late tonight. These

conditions will spread into the Central Bahamas by Thursday night.

Hurricane and tropical storm conditions are possible within the

watch area in the central Bahamas and Cuba by Friday. Tropical

storm conditions are expected to begin within the warning area in

Cuba Thursday night.

RAINFALL: Irma is expected to produce the following rain

accumulations through Saturday:

Northern Leeward Islands...Additional 1 to 3 inches. Storm total 8

to 12 inches, isolated 20 inches.

Northeast Puerto Rico and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands...6 to

12 inches, isolated 20 inches.

Southwest Puerto Rico...3 to 6 inches, isolated 10 inches.

The Southern Leeward Islands, and Saint Croix...2 to 4 inches.

Southeast Bahamas, Central Bahamas, and the Turks and Caicos...8 to

12 inches, isolated 20 inches.

Northern Dominican Republic and northern Haiti...4 to 10 inches,

isolated 15 inches.

Eastern and Central Cuba...4 to 10 inches, isolated 15 inches.

Southwest Haiti...1 to 4 inches.

In all areas this rainfall may cause life-threatening flash floods

and mudslides.

SURF: Swells generated by Irma will affect the northern Leeward

Islands, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, the southeastern Bahamas,

the Turks and Caicos Islands, the northern coast of the Dominican

Republic, and portions of the southeast coast of the United States

during the next several days. These swells are likely to cause

life-threatening surf and rip current conditions. Please consult

products from your local weather office.

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