The eye of one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history has now reached the mainland, with Hurricane Irma barreling its way up the west coast of Florida on Sunday and expected to impact the nation for days to come.
Irma officially made landfall in the Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m. Sunday.
A total of 36,000,000 million Americans are now under hurricane watches.
Irma, which regained strength to go back to being a Category 4 hurricane just before landfall, is packing maximum sustained winds of around 130 miles per hour. It returned to Cat 3 status about the time it made landfall.
As many as nine million of Florida's 20 million residents could be without power. As of 9 a.m. Sunday, 800,000 outages had already been reported.
Florida residents are being told to shelter in place and stay away from windows. Three fatalities have been reported as of early Sunday morning.
Moving at a rate of just 8 miles per hour, Irma will take at least 24 hours to get to Alabama and Georgia, where it is expected to quickly drop to a Cat 1 level storm late in the day Monday.
It will then become a Tropical Storm and possibly Tropical Depression while slowly making its way north to Louisville, Kentucky early Thursday morning.
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