>> Hurricane Irma, a massive category five storm on Wednesday, clobbering the Caribbean Islands with pounding winds and rain. And even as the destruction is still being tallied up, two more hurricanes are threatening the region, Jose in the tropical Atlantic, and Katia in the Gulf off the coast of Mexico.
Amateur videos shows Irma battering the French island of St. Martin, and a fixed beach camera there captures the violent torrential rain unleashed by Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms in a century. The Eye of Irma passing just North of Puerto Rico late Wednesday, dumping heavy rains and lashing out with strong winds.
Rueters reporter Scott Malone is there.>> People in low-lying areas were most concerned, with the government having opened hundreds of shelters across the island for people to seek safety. The storm comes at a bad time for Puerto Rico, which is struggling with an economic crisis, high crime, and high unemployment.
That has many area resident worried that when the electricity goes out, when the water goes out, it'll be a very long rebuilding process.>> Irma could hit Florida by weekend. Florida Governor Rick Scott warning this hurricane could be even worse the Hurricane Andrew in 1992, which still ranks as one of the costliest storms ever to batter the United States.
>> Remember, we can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life.>> Authorities in the state not taking any chances, ordering a mandatory evacuation of the Florida Keys.>> We could be looking at wave heights that would literally put the ocean over the islands.>> It's gonna be crazy getting outta here, it's gonna be gridlocked.
Getting out of the Keys, there's only one way in, and one way out.>> President Trump, whose Palm Beach estate, Mar-a-Lago, could also take a direct hit, said he was closely monitoring the storm. And the White House approved emergency declarations for Florida, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, mobilizing federal disaster relief efforts.