Hurricane Irma is leaving the Florida Keys, headed for the southwest coast of Florida, the National Hurricane Center said in a noon update on the storm’s path.
At Fowey Rocks, a lighthouse off the coast of Miami, 75 mph sustained winds and an 87 mph gusts were recorded. At Pembroke Pines, northwest inland from Miami, the wind gusted to 109 mph.
All along Florida’s west coast, officials are bracing for the worst.
“We know we are ground zero for this storm,” Tampa Mayor Bob Buckthorn wrote on Twitter. “We have avoided it for 90 years but our time has come to be ready … Be prepared for a storm that we’ve never seen before.”