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Florida Prepares As Hurricane Matthew Barrels Towards Atlantic Coast

Source: Mark Wilson / Getty

Hurricane Irma is now listed as a category 1 hurricane but still moving through Florida and toward Georgia.  Here’s the latest from the NY Times.

After tearing through the Florida Keys and making landfall along the state’s southwest coast, Hurricane Irma crawled up the middle of Florida late Sunday night, slowly spinning toward the Tampa region.

After days of frantic preparations, residents in Tampa were bracing for Irma’s arrival early Monday, weaker than expected but still packing wind gusts of about 100 miles per hour. The storm, which was downgraded to a Category 1 hurricane, continued to lose strength as it pushed inland, but its reach extended from South Florida to Jacksonville. It was expected to remain a hurricane through at least Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said.

The counterclockwise rotation of Irma’s wind pushed water out of the Tampa Bay throughout Sunday. But after the center of the storm passes Tampa early Monday morning, the direction of the winds will reverse and push water back into the bay, adding to the flooding, said Andrew McKaughan, a meteorologist at the National Weather Service in Tampa.

Hurricane Irma’s push into Central Florida pushed heavy rain and strong winds into parts of Florida not initially expecting to feel the brunt of the storm. Winds were reaching 60 miles per hour along the coast near Jacksonville and expected to intensify as Irma’s center slogged north.

Here’s the latest from WRAL.com

 5 a.m.

Hurricane Irma is getting weaker as it moves over the western Florida peninsula early Monday.Irma hit Florida on Sunday as a powerful Category 4 hurricane, hammering much of the state with roof-ripping winds, gushing floodwaters and widespread power outages.

By Monday morning, Irma had weakened to a Category 1 hurricane with winds near 85 mph (135 kph). Additional weakening is forecast and Irma is expected to become a tropical storm over northern Florida or southern Georgia later in the day.

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