Puerto Rico’s governor declared a state of emergency on Monday ahead of powerful Hurricane Irma, which has strengthened into a Category 4 storm.
The National Guard was also activated as the U.S. territory prepares for the storm to hit on Wednesday, the U.S. National Hurricane Center said.
“Despite the economic challenges Puerto Rico is facing, the approved budget has $15 million for the emergency fund,” Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said in a statement.
Government workers on the islands of the eastern Caribbean are clearing drains and pruning trees as authorities urge residents to prepare for Hurricane Irma, a Category 4 storm likely to begin buffeting that area Tuesday.
Emergency officials warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches of rain, unleash landslides and dangerous flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet as the storm draws closer.
A hurricane warning has been issued for Antigua and Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts and Nevis, St. Martin, Saba, St. Eustatius, St. Maarten and St. Barts.
Also, there is an “increasing chance” that Florida and the Florida Keys will see “some impacts from” Irma later this week and weekend, though it’s still too early to determine what direct effects it may have.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott on Monday declared a state of emergency for every county to ensure that local governments have enough “time, resources and flexibility to get prepared for this dangerous storm,” according to a statement from his office.
The official forecast track includes parts of south Florida, including Miami.
Scott said in the statement that Irma is a “life-threatening” storm and Florida “must be prepared.”
“In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best,” Scott said, “and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared.”
Let’s hope that these states will have more luck than Texas!
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