UPDATED 9.27am: Rain and wind is intensifying in Puerto Rico as Hurricane Irma hits. That northerly trend takes the storm near Melbourne early Monday and toward the SC coastline on Tuesday. The hurricane decimated the Caribbean island of Barbuda and was pummeling Puerto Rico Wednesday night.
However, compared with Jose or Katia, Irma stands out as a force.
Hurricane Jose continues to strengthen, moving west-northwest at around 17 miles per hour.
Hurricane Katia churned nearly 200 miles (322 km) off the Gulf coast of Mexico on Wednesday evening before an expected turn towards land that could dump heavy rain on eastern states in the coming days, the US National Hurricane Center (NHC) said. But the hurricane center says Katia is expected to stay offshore through Friday morning.
"In terms of material damage, the four strongest buildings on the island of St Martin have been destroyed, which means that the oldest buildings have undoubtedly been totally or partially destroyed", he told reporters. The storm is expected to continue moving this direction over the next few days.
Officials in the Florida Keys say they expect to announce a mandatory evacuation for visitors starting Wednesday and for residents starting Thursday. The amount of land Irma is going to travel over before coming near Florida won't be enough to substantially weaken Irma. Cooper said the state is considering possible impacts to all 100 counties across the state.
Hurricane Jose strengthened from a tropical storm into a hurricane blowing maximum sustained winds near 75 miles per hour Wednesday afternoon (Sept. 6), according to the National Hurricane Center.
N.C. Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry says while it's too early to know exactly how Hurricane Irma might affect the state, it is never too early to prepare. As people are filling up their vehicles, some stations are finding their supply on empty days ahead of the storm.
Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, has already made history as one of the most powerful Atlantic hurricanes on record.