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Reports: Wrath of Irma reaches Turks and Caicos; Cuba and the Bahamas brace for impacts

Irma will continue to pummel the northern Caribbean islands through late week as the massive hurricane leaves a trail of damage in its path.

The Turks and Caicos Islands will experience the worst of the powerful hurricane through Thursday night as the eye of Irma tracks within miles of the islands.

"Farther to the west, residents and interests in the Bahamas and eastern Cuba should closely monitor the progression of Major Hurricane Irma,” AccuWeather Hurricane Expert Dan Kottlowski said.

The storm made a direct hit on Barbuda early Wednesday morning as a Category 5 hurricane before later making a direct hit on the islands of St. Martin, Anguilla, St. Barts and the British Virgin Islands. The prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda described Barbuda as "barely habitable" on Wednesday afternoon due to the catastrophic damage left behind by Irma.

loop irma thurs night

A satellite loop of Hurricane Irma moving through the northern Caribbean on Thursday evening. (Image/NOAA)

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For previous reports of Irma's impacts in the Caribbean, click here.

8:40 p.m. AST Thursday: The Turks and Caicos are currently being hit with some of the strongest winds that they will experience from Irma as it passes by.

Irma remains a Category 5 hurricane with sustained winds of 175 mph and even stronger gusts. The strong winds will help to produce feet of storm surge that will inundate many of the coastal areas of the Turks and Caicos for several hours.

Irma Thurs eve TC

Satellite imagery shows Hurricane Irma as the eye of the storm passed within miles of the Turks and Caicos Islands on Thursday evening. (Image/NOAA)

7:00 p.m. AST Thursday: Turks and Caicos are about to experience the worst of Hurricane Irma over the next several hours with the eye passing within miles of the islands. The eye may even pass directly over some of the southern-most islands.

5:30 p.m. AST Thursday: Three more fatalities have been reported in the U.S. Virgin Islands where catastrophic damage was reported.

The worst of the hurricane is approaching the Turks and Caicos Islands with conditions expected to deteriorate throughout the evening.

4:25 p.m. AST Thursday: Irma remains a powerful Category 5 hurricane with maximum sustained winds of 175 mph.

The eye of the storm is located about 65 miles north of the Dominican Republic and will gradually track northwest away from the island into Thursday night. Residents on the island will continue to experience heavy rain and gusty winds as the storm tracks closer to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Flooding rain and storm surge has caused some roads to turn to rivers while strong winds have caused some structures to collapse.

AP DR Thurs eve

A home flattened by Hurricane Irma lies in a pile in Nagua, Dominican Republic, Thursday, Sept. 7, 2017. Irma cut a path of devastation across the northern Caribbean, leaving thousands homeless after destroying buildings and uprooting trees. Irma flooded parts of the Dominican Republic when it roared by Thursday, just off the northern coast of the island it shares with Haiti. (AP Photo/Tatiana Fernandez)