Roughly 48 hours ago residents of Florida awoke to reports that Hurricane Irma had been upgraded after sustained winds had reached at least 150 mph.
That seems like a walk in the park now that winds are approaching nearly 200 mph.
Reports have Irma now larger than 8 other storms combined, and Florida residents are scrambling to prepare should the track take the storm directly into the peninsula.
Storms up and down the coast are already cleaned out of essential supplies which has Amazon running on overdrive in an attempt to meet the spike in demand for food, water, batteries and other essentials in anticipation of what could be weeks without power and basic needs.
This is shaping up to be the storm of the century.
Congress could be faced with two multi-billion aid packages in a single month for Texas and Florida, should the worst come to fruition.
Here’s more from the AP…
Hurricane Irma’s size and strength put the entire state of Florida on notice Tuesday, and residents and visitors prepared to leave in anticipation of catastrophic winds and floods that could reach the state by this weekend.
Throughout South Florida, officials readied evacuation orders and people raided store shelves, buying up water and other hurricane supplies. Long lines formed at gas stations and people pulled shutters out of storage and put up plywood to protect their homes and businesses.
Parker Eastin filled up his gas tank at a busy fuel station. He and his girlfriend said they decided to plan well in advance after seeing what Hurricane Harvey did to Texas.
“We ordered water off Amazon because the stores were out and also ordered food,” said Eastin, a 43-year-old lawyer who has lived in Florida for 12 years. “Seeing the devastation in Texas is a sad reminder that you have to take the events very seriously.”
Irma’s winds were 185 mph (297 kph) Tuesday, a strong Category 5 storm, and forecasters say it could strengthen more as it neared the eastern-most Caribbean islands, according to the National Hurricane Center in Miami.