Hurricane Irma Live Updates: Category 4 Storm Hits Florida Keys and Miami

Update: 7:30 p.m. ET - Newsweek writer Melina Delkic writes: "As Hurricane Irma battered the western coast of Florida on Sunday, the westward shift of the storm's eye created conditions for a dangerous storm surge for those on the state's western coast. Although its wind speeds had decreased since its landfall in Cuba, the storm remained highly destructive." Read more and watch videos of the storm here.

Update: 7:10 p.m. ET - Newsweek writer Robert Valencia writes: "Hurricane Irma’s wrath and mandatory evacuation orders in Key West were not enough to deter staff at Ernest Hemingway’s Home and Museum —and its 54 six-toed cats — from leaving." Read more here.

Update: 6:30 p.m. ET - Some Florida residents were being told Sunday to boil their home water to avoid getting sick from contamination. In Broward County in South Florida, a mandatory boil water alert was put into effect for all residents of Hollywood and customers of Broward County Water and Waste Water Services. "Residents should not use the water without boiling it first, as boiling kills bacteria and other organisms in the water," a media release said.

Update: 6:02 p.m. ET - Hurricane Irma had dropped to a Category 2 storm by early Sunday night after making landfall in southwestern Florida. With 110 mph winds, the storm was slowing down but remained dangerous after it hit Naples and Marco Island. The National Hurricane Center said, “although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning.”

Update: 5:37 p.m. ET - President Donald Trump said Sunday the U.S. maybe a “little bit lucky” after Hurricane Irma switched direction and did not hit South Florida with its full might. Trump said the storm damage will cost “a lot of money” but “right now, we’re worried about lives, not cost.” Trump spoke to reporters after returning to the White House from Camp David in Maryland.

Update: 5:10 p.m. ETNewsweek writer Cristina Silva writes: "The white sand beaches of the Caribbean that lure tourists from across the globe and fuel local economies were devastated in the wake of Hurricane Irma, with some tourism officials predicting loses in the billions of dollars." Read more here. 

Update: 4:52 p.m. ET - Newsweek writer Harriet Sinclair writes: "President Donald Trump is facing calls to open his exclusive Mar a Lago resort to Florida residents who have been displaced by Hurricane Irma." Read more here. 

Update: 4:30 p.m. ETNewsweek writer Robert Valencia writes: "While Hurricane Irma keeps pummeling Florida with sustained winds of 120 miles per hour, authorities are hoping prior recovery preparations will be enough to help those in harm’s way." Read more here. 

Update: 4:17 p.m. ET - President Donald Trump has approved a major disaster declaration for Florida and intends to visit the state soon, according to reports.

Meanwhile, some residents are taking dangerous selfies with camera phones during the storm. Newsweek writer H. Alan Scott writes: "As Hurricane Irma makes landfall on the western part of Florida, with winds reaching 130mph, you would think taking a selfie would be the last thing on your mind. Well, you would be wrong." Read more here. 

Update: 4:02 p.m. ET - Hurricane Irma displaced water from Hillsborough Bay on Sunday afternoon, leaving the shore bare. The water was pulled from the shore because of low pressure caused by the Category 4 storm.

"This is really crazy. It's probably a once in a lifetime experience for us — hopefully," Resident Hilda Carillo told the Tampa Bay Times

Update: 3:42 p.m. ET - From Newsweek writer Cristina Silva: "Registered sex offenders across Florida might have a hard time finding safe shelter as Hurricane Irma begins pummeling the state Sunday. Many shelters across Florida were at capacity over the weekend, and few had let in sex offenders. Some were told to report to their nearest prison or jail, while others were shunned, according to local reports." Read more here. 

Update: 3:30 p.m. ET - Police were watching for looters Sunday as Hurricane Irma began pounding South Florida. In Fort Lauderdale, there were at least nine arrests for looting. There were also tornado reports across the state. 

Update: 3:17 p.m. ET - From Newsweek writer Janissa Delzo: "Hurricane Irma, a catastrophic Category 4 storm, has eerily proved to live up to the meaning behind its name: war goddess. The powerful hurricane ripped through the Caribbean and made landfall over the Florida Keys early Sunday morning. But, where exactly does the name Irma originate?" Read more about Irma here. 

Update: 3:05 p.m. ET - From Newsweek writer Jessica Firger: "Officials are well aware that incidences of rape and assault become more common in the wake of hurricanes such as Irma and Harvey. When state-wide evacuations for Hurricane Irma began last week, Florida’s Polk County sheriff announced that sex offenders would be banned from all shelters." Read more coverage about hurricanes and sexual assault here. 

Update: 2:50 p.m. ET - Florida Governor Rick Scott has been alerting residents with updates about Hurricane Irma nonstop in recent days and he says he won't stop. "I’m in constant communication with emergency management officials from across the state as #HurricaneIrma impacts Florida," Scott tweeted Sunday as heavy winds and rains pummeled his state. 

Update: 2:30 p.m. ET - From Newsweek writer Harriet Sinclair: "More than 10,000 domestic and international flights have been grounded due to adverse weather conditions caused by Hurricane Irma." Read more coverage here.

Update: 2:09 p.m. ET - More than 10,000 National Guard from 14 different states are on their way to Florida to help with emergency relief efforts, Major General Calhoun said this afternoon.

Update: 1:55 p.m. ET - Two Florida police officers have died in a traffic accident, the sheriff’s department has confirmed in Hardee County, east of Sarasota.

The officers were named as Julie Ann Bridges, a Hardee County deputy, and Joseph Ossman, a sergeant with the Florida department of corrections, in a statement by the sheriff's department. 

It is unclear whether storm conditions were responsible for the accident.

Update: 1:35 p.m. ET - As the storm approaches, flamingos are being led to safety in Busch Gardens theme park in Tampa Bay.

Update: 1:24 p.m. ET - President Donald Trump's cabinet met Sunday to discuss the government response to Hurricane Irma. The president also spoke with the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee, where the storm is expected to strike in coming days.

Update: 1:18 p.m. ET - More footage from Miami of storm surges submerging downtown.

Update: 1:10 p.m. ET - The eye of the storm is approaching Naples, southwest Florida, the National Weather Service warned. 

Update: 1:03 p.m. ET - Footage earlier showed waters receding in Tampa Bay as the storm approached. 

However the Storm Surge Unit at the National Hurricane Center has warned that waters will surge back as winds in west Florida change direction.

Update: 12:51 ET - The National Weather Service Melbourne has warned drivers fleeing the storm not to become trapped in floods, with severe flood warnings in place across East Central Florida.

Update: 12:43 ET - A campaign launched by all five of the former living United States presidents has added Hurricane Irma to its fundraising appeal for disaster relief.

The fund will continue to raise money for relief of victims of Hurricane Harvey, which struck last month in Texas. 

GettyImages-84197393 U.S. President George W. Bush (C) meets with President-elect Barack Obama (2nd-L), former President Bill Clinton (2nd-R), former President Jimmy Carter (R) and former President George H.W. Bush (L) in the Oval Office January 7, 2009 in Washington, DC. Getty

Update: 12:28 ET - Footage is emerging showing swaths of downtown Miami submerged in water. 

Update: 12:01 ET - More than a million customers in Florida are now without power, as the storm blasts the state, according to utilities companies. 

Update: 11:50 a.m. ET - President Trump spoke to the governors of Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee on Sunday, the White House said the White House said as cited by Reuters.

The announcement comes as Hurricane Irma’s path moved away from the lower Florida Keys westward to the Gulf Coast and states to the north.

GettyImages-845256842 Rain and wind sweep over empty roads as Hurricane Irma arrives into southwest Florida, in Bonita Springs, Florida, September 10. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Update: 11:41 a.m. ET - Miami Herald reporter Joey Flechas has just recorded this footage in downtown Miami, showing the atonishing force of the storm. 

Update: 11:34 a.m. ET - A large crane in downtown Miami has collapsed onto a high-rise building as strong winds tear through the city, according to multiple news reports.

Update: 11:26 a.m. ET - Shocking images of devastation are emerging from the U.S. Virgin Islands, which were hit by Hurricane Irma last week.

Update: 10:28 a.m. ET - Florida Light and Power is reporting that half a million customers in Miami/Dade County are currently without electricity.

Update: 9:53 a.m. ET - With Irma making landfall at Cudjoe Key, meteorologist John Morales says the storm is about 20 kilometers (20 miles) east of its forecast direction, which is likely to increase impact on the Miami metro area.

Update: 9:40 a.m. ET - More images are emerging of the devastation caused by the storm as it passed through Cuba yesterday.

Update: 9:03 a.m. ET Vice President Mike has expressed his support for those in the path of the hurricane in a tweet.

Update: 8:03 a.m. ET - Footage from the Naval Air Station Key West shows waves lashing against the Florida shore from sea swells.

Separate footage from journalist and "storm chaser" Mike Theiss shows roads in the town engulfed by water. 

Update: 7.59 a.m. ET - More footage is emerging from Key West as it is hit by the eyewall of the hurricane. 

Update: 7:50 a.m. ET - ABC is reporting the first death in Florida has been confirmed, with Hurricane Irma having claimed at least 24 lives across the Caribbean so far.

Update: 7:21 a.m. ET - Here is Periscope footage that allegedly shows the storm making landfall in Florida Keys. 

Reporter David Ovalle shot this footage a short time ago near Key West.

Update: 7:08 a.m. ET - The eye of the storm has just reached the Lower Florida Keys.

Update: 7:05 a.m. ET - It is not just Florida where storm warnings are in place, but Alabama and Georgia too, CNN is reporting. 

Update: 6:50 a.m. ET - Here is the latest National Weather Service Key West warning, with the Keys braced for the imminent landfall of the eye of the storm.

Update: 6:40 a.m. ET - There is an "extreme wind warning" in place for the Florida Keys, with the eye of the hurricane minutes away from making landfall.

Update: 6:29 a.m. ET - Weatherman Jim Cantore has emphasized the strength of the storm, placing it in historical context. Irma is the worst hurricane to hit Florida Keys since 1960, he tweeted.

Update: 5: 39 a.m. ET - Humans are not the only ones seeking refuge from the storm, with this pair of parrots spotted sheltering on the 22nd floor ledge of a Miami hotel.

Update: 5:19 a.m. ET - The eye of the hurricane is about to pass over Lower Florida Keys soon, the National Weather Service has said.

Update: 4.52 a.m. ET - As of 4 a.m., Irma was approximately 50 miles away from Key West, traveling northwest at 6 mph with maximum sustained winds of 130 mph, reported ABC meteorologist Dan Manzo.

At 4 a.m. there was a storm surge of two feet in Key West, and 84 mph wind gusts there.

This is the advice from the National Weather Service in Key West:

A video in the town shot by one of the few people who have not evacuated showed rising waters last night.

Update: 4.49 a.m. ET - President Trump tweeted a message to those in the storm's path as it approaches.

Update: 4:26 a.m. ET - These videos show the scene in Miami overnight, as the city is pounded by the outer bands of the hurricane.

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