At this point the National Hurricane Center is reporting that Hurricane Irma remains a dangerous and life threatening Category 5 storm, with winds of 185 per hour. The storm is massive and the storm surges predicted it will go for miles. This is a massive storm. The track now has it forecasted to directly impact the Florida Keys on Sunday, as a devastating major hurricane.
Storm surge and extreme winds are the biggest concern right now. This storm is bigger, faster, and stronger than Hurricane Andrew. I cannot stress this enough, do not ignore evacuation orders. Remember, we can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life. Today, I'm activating another 900 Guard members for a total of 1,000 by the end of the day, to respond and prepare for Hurricane Irma.
On Friday, all 6,000 remaining available National Guard members will be reporting for duty. We now need volunteers, that's what our biggest need is right now. I encourage all Floridians that can volunteer to do so to help prepare and respond to this storm. Do not sit and wait, prepare right now.