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‘It’s getting real:’ Florida braces for deadly storm

Hundreds of thousands of Florida residents are scrambling to get out of the state before Hurricane Irma hits, while others are staying put and bracing for the Category 4 storm.

The U-S National Hurricane Center says hurricane Irma will be so immense when it makes landfall in Florida this weekend that it will bring life-threatening wind impacts to much of the state, no matter where its centre moves.

There is also concern that storm surge flooding could be as high as 3.5 metres about ground level along the southwest coast of Florida.

So far, Irma has left at least 20 people dead and thousands homeless in the Caribbean.

“It’s starting to get real for us,” said Ted Bradford, a former employee of Quinte Broadcasting who now lives in Labelle, Florida.

Ted Bradford 1

Bradfort lives just west of Lake Okeechobee. He told 800AM CJBQ The Lorne Brooker Show it originally looked like Irma would skirt around his region, but are being told that is now not the case.

Ted Bradford 1

Meanwhile, HGTV host Bryan Baeumler flew out of Florida on Thursday. He sat down with Mix 97’s Sean Kelly and Orlena Cain Friday to talk about the mood among residents who are evacuating and bracing for it to his early Sunday morning.

Ted Bradford 1
The governor of Georgia is urging the nearly 540,000 people who live along the state’s east coast to leave the area ahead of Irma.

Forecasts show the storm’s centre could enter the state far inland after it slams into Florida, but Governor Nathan Deal says the path of the Category 4 storm is still unpredictable.

Meantime, hurricane Jose has now strengthened to Category 4 as it threatens Caribbean islands already devastated by Irma.

(With files from the Canadian Press)

 

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