Florida remains under a state of emergency as residents prepare for a likely threat from the powerful Hurricane Irma. The storm is expected to impact parts of Florida's southeastern coast on Sunday.
"Irma is only one of five known hurricanes during the satellite era to have reached sustained winds of 185 mph or higher," said AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski.
State officials have begun ordering evacuations ahead of the dangerous storm. A mandatory evacuation was issued for visitors to the Florida Keys on Wednesday morning, with plans to suspend commercial air traffic from Key West International Airport by Wednesday night.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez urged the county's 2.7 million residents to stock up on supplies and to expect evacuation orders in some areas on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, Florida Gov. RIck Scott has suspended tolls across the state's highways to help expedite the evacuation and supply-gathering process for residents.
The islands of Saint Barthelemy, Saint Martin and Anguilla in the northern Leeward Islands took a direct hit from Irma on Wednesday morning. Catastrophic damage is expected on these islands from winds of more than 150 mph, as well as a deadly storm surge of at least 12 feet.
9:50 a.m. EDT Wednesday: People in Florida are experiencing long wait times for gas, water and other essentials ahead of Hurricane Irma, with some gas stations already running out of fuel and grocery stores dwindling on supplies.
Hope there is enough gas for all these customers #hurricaneirma #don'twait'tilit'stoolate pic.twitter.com/ialoA8l73K
— Linda Trischitta (@LindaTrischitta) September 6, 2017
Good news! Fuel truck already here. Manager tells me pumps should be back on in less than a half hour #Irma #gas #tampa @abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/hqhz985HgA
— Lauren St. Germain (@LaurenWFTS) September 6, 2017
South Tampa yesterday. The prep for #irma is very real here.
Every Walmart in Hernando County is out of water and it's unknown when more will be delivered #hurricaneirma #abcactionnews pic.twitter.com/1pAHzV7wmD
— Wendi Lane (@Wendilanetv) September 6, 2017