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Irma Strengthens to Category 5 Hurricane

This morning, Irma has officially intensified to a Category 5 hurricane, making it “extremely dangerous.” The ranking is on the Saffir-Simpson wind scale, and comes from the U.S. National Hurricane Center (NHC) in their later advisory.

According to USA Today, it will blast the northern Caribbean with serious rain and life-threatening wind. And it’s likely headed toward the Gulf or East Coast of the United States next week, which means it could hit Georgia, Florida, or the Carolinas. There is a growing likelihood of serious devastation on the Florida Peninsula and the Florida Keys, which is why Governor Rick Scott has declared a state of emergency for the state’s 67 counties.

The Category 5 ranking means, once Irma lands, “a high percentage of framed homes will be destroyed, with total roof failure and wall collapse.”

The NHC added, “Fallen trees and power poles will isolate residential areas. Power outages will last for weeks to possibly months. Most of the area will be uninhabitable for weeks or months.”

This devastating landfall comes on the heels of the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey in Texas last week. Congress is preparing a vote on a hurricane relief bill, which may be linked to the debt ceiling vote, according to House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin and President Trump’s White House support combining those efforts, calling for swift action.

Let us pray for those about to be affected by this serious hurricane.

This is a breaking news story. We will add more details as they develop.