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Thursday, 07 September 2017 15:44

Hurricane Irma's Path Continues Shift Toward East Coast

(TNS) - As thousands of cars streamed north on Florida's roads Wednesday, carrying residents fleeing the approach of Hurricane Irma, the Category 5 storm maintained its powerful 185 mph winds on a path towards the Bahamas today and eventually, forecasters predict, a landfall Sunday afternoon on the state's southeast coast.

The latest projected track from National Hurricane Center forecasters Wednesday night had shifted east from earlier predictions on where the storm would go, based on conclusions that the system will eventually shift course from its present west-northwest trajectory and head north, along or just off Florida's east coast. However, experts underscored that the entire Florida peninsula remained within Irma's potential path, and noted that the margin of error for predictions this far out ranged from 175 to 225 miles. A shift either east or west would have dramatically different results for Florida residents, including those in Southwest Florida.

As a result, many local governments ramped up their emergency preparations, while schools set plans to close on Friday and canceled activities. Highways, gas stations and stores saw firsthand how seriously residents were taking officials' warnings. Meanwhile, mandatory evacuations began in southeast Florida.

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http://www.govtech.com/em/disaster/Hurricane-Irmas-Path-Continues-Shift-Toward-East-Coast.html