As one of the most powerful and potentially catastrophic hurricanes to ever hit the United States closes in on southern Florida, an updated time frame for Irma's impact on the East Coast has been released.
After bulldozing through the Northern Caribbean, the core of Irma will move between the north coast of Cuba and the Bahamas on Friday and Saturday, according to the National Hurricane Center.
Maximum sustained winds remain near 175 mph — with even higher gusts — in the Category 5 storm.
Irma is on course to turn north, unleashing destructive winds, flooding rain and dangerous storm surges across Florida starting early Sunday, according to AccuWeather.com.
"Unfortunately, there is no way the United States is going to avoid another catastrophic weather event," said Joel N. Myers, founder, president and chairman of AccuWeather.
"There will be massive damage in Florida," Myers added. Irma will be "the worst single hurricane to hit Florida since Hurricane Andrew in 1992."
The current track of Irma will bring the most severe impacts to the eastern side of Florida, including Miami, West Palm Beach, Melbourne, Daytona Beach and Jacksonville, AccuWeather said.
After barreling through Florida, Irma is expected to go from a Category 5 storm to Category 4 midway through the state, and then to Category 3 as it approaches the Georgia line.
By the time it moves through Georgia overnight Sunday into Monday, it will then become a Tropical Storm. It will become a Tropical Depression when its impact is felt in Connecticut next Wednesday in the form of rain.
The rain is not expected to be torrential in Connecticut, but changes in the path of Irma could alter that expectation.
Check back to Daily Voice for updates on the storm.
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