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Hurricane Irma Nears Category 5, Florida and Puerto Rico Prepare

The National Hurricane Center warned of an “increasing chance” Hurricane Irma will affect the U.S. East Coast, as the intensifying Category 4 storm prompted emergency preparations in Florida and Puerto Rico. As of Tuesday morning, Irma was 320 miles east of the Leeward Islands with winds clocking 150 mph—just 7 mph away from reaching Category 5 status. After it moves through the Caribbean later this week, experts say it will most likely turn north and approach the U.S. “If it turns sooner rather than later, we could maybe see the system slide by the East Coast into the ocean, but that window is shutting quickly,” CNN meteorologist and weather anchor Tom Sater said. “It definitely looks like we will be impacted by a major hurricane that is a Category 3, 4 or 5.” Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency Monday, telling residents “we cannot afford to not be prepared.” He said President Trump had promised the “full resources” of the federal government if Irma hits Florida.

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