LIVE NOW : VIDEO OF Hurricane Irma Battering ''Florida'' with , wind and rain | #IRMA
LIVE NOW : Best VIDEO of ''Hurricane Irma'' ''Cuba'' & ''Miami'', ''Florida''| #IRMA
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Hurricane Irma battered northern Cuba then made a turn for Florida, where it's expected to hammer the state with whistling winds, heavy rain and surging waves.
Florida authorities went door-to-door warning residents of the massive hurricane, sending crowds jamming highways as they fled north.
The Category 4 storm had maximum sustained winds of 155 mph Saturday morning. Before it was slightly downgraded, it made landfall on Cuba's Camaguey Archipelago as a Category 5 hurricane, the National Hurricane Center said Friday night.
Irma hit Ciego de Avila province with gusts so strong, it destroyed the instrument used to measure wind, Cuba's meteorological agency reported.
Cuba recorded waves of up to 23 feet high, and as the storm moves westward, bigger ones are a possibility.
Millions urged to evacuate
Irma edged closer to South Florida and strengthened to a Category 5 storm in Cuba. Hours earlier Friday, it was a Category 4.
Irma is expected to be near the Florida Keys and South Florida by early Sunday, and many residents there have moved inland. About 5.6 million people in the state have been ordered to evacuate, Gov. Rick Scott said.
Florida officials sent dire warnings imploring residents on the path of the storm to evacuate.
"If you have been ordered to evacuate, leave now. Not tonight, not in an hour, now," Scott said Friday night. Staying in homes could subject residents to storm surge as high as 12 feet
The National Hurricane Center says Irma has weakened slightly to a Category 4 hurricane, as it moves over the Camaguey Archipelago of Cuba.
Irma had briefly regained Category 5 strength late Friday, but now has maximum sustained winds of 155 mph (249 kph). The hurricane is about 245 miles (394 kilometers) from Miami and moving about 12 mph (19.3 kph) toward the west-northwest.
In the Atlantic, Hurricane Jose is a Category 4 hurricane, about 190 miles (306 kilometers) east-southeast of The Northern Leeward Islands, moving toward the islands at 13 mph (20.92 kph) with winds reaching 150 mph.
In the Gulf of Mexico, Hurricane Katia made landfall late Friday north of Tecolutla, Mexico and weakened to a tropical storm. By early Saturday morning it was 135 miles (217 kilometers) south of Tampico, Mexico, moving sluggishly at only 2 mph (3.2 kph) near the Sierra Madre Mountains with maximum winds of 40 mph (64.4 kph). It was expected to weaken further throughout the day.
Just hours after Hurricane Irma strengthened Friday night to a Category 5 storm as it made landfall on Cuba, the monster storm went back to a Category 4 storm around 5 a.m. Saturday, the National Hurricane Center announced.
Its maximum sustained winds decreased to 150 mph, but the storm remains strong as it moves closer to South Florida at a speed of 13 mph. As of 5 a.m., it was 245 miles southeast of Miami. Just three hours earlier, it was 275 miles south-southeast of the city.
The storm's track has shifted slightly to the west, creating a "very, very dangerous situation for western Florida," says ABC News meteorologist Daniel Manzo. Major hurricane conditions will slam communities on Florida's west coast, including Naples and Fort Myers, he added. Landfall may also occur as far north as Tampa as a strong Category 3 hurricane.
Ahead of Irma's arrival in the Sunshine State, the last flights departed Friday night from Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Miami's airport officially remains open, while Fort Lauderdale's airport is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Also ahead of its arrival, The Associated Press reported late Friday night that many ATM machines across southwest Florida were out of cash as people stocked up in case Hurricane Irma power outages make credit card transactions impossible.
Meteorologists expect Irma to make landfall in the Keys between 5 a.m. and 7 a.m. ET on Sunday. Overnight projections of Irma's path showed less of a threat to the Carolinas as the monster storm appeared likely to move directly up the middle of Florida and curve inland.
The National Weather Service's Key West office issued a dire warning in the wake of the updated forecast.
"Obviously Hurricane Irma continues to be a threat that is going to devastate the United Stang enough to uproot trees, bring down power poles and rip off the roofs and some exterior walls of well-built frame homes.
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