As Major Hurricane Irma churns across the western Atlantic and towards the United States, residents along the Gulf and East coasts of the U.S. need to be on alert.
Category 5 Hurricane Irma will blast the northern Caribbean with flooding rain, damaging winds and rough surf this week, bringing life-threatening conditions to the islands.
A similar scenario could play out somewhere along the Gulf or East coasts this weekend or next week, depending on where Irma tracks. Residents are urged to prepare now.
“This hurricane has the potential to be a major event for the East Coast. It also has the potential to significantly strain FEMA and other governmental resources occurring so quickly on the heels of Harvey,” Evan Myers, expert senior meteorologist and chief operating officer, said.
A landfall in Florida, Georgia or the Carolinas is all in the realm of possibilities. Irma could also head into the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
Another scenario still on the table is that Irma curve northward and miss the East Coast entirely. This would still generate large surf and rip currents along the East Coast. However, this scenario is the least likely to occur at this point.
On Monday afternoon, Florida Gov. Rick Scott declared a state of emergency for every county in Florida in anticipation of Irma. A state of emergency was also declared in Puerto Rico earlier in the day.