Hurricane Irma bulked up ahead of an all but certain collision with southern Florida after devastating a chain of Caribbean islands and threatening to become the most expensive storm in U.S. history.
While the life-threatening hurricane weakened slightly, Irma grew in size meaning that most of the state will face hurricane-force winds as it cuts a path through the peninsula into Georgia. Now a Category 4 storm with top winds of 150 miles (241 kilometers) an hour, Irma will maintain its strength until it strikes Florida early Sunday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said in an advisory around 11 a.m. Eastern time. The storm has already left at least 11 people dead and thousands homeless across the Caribbean.
“Much of Florida, especially the southern half, is in for a really long and horrible day on Sunday,” said Todd Crawford, lead meteorologist at The Weather Company in Andover, Massachusetts. Another example of “the power of nature