As winds in Hurricane Irma reached and exceeded 185 MPH, the storm left the island of Barbuda 90% destroyed and has caused severe destruction in the Virgin Islands. The storm is expected to strike Puerto Rico as the strongest hurricane to hit the island in a century. Florida governor Rick Scott has warned residents to evacuate the Keys and the southern part of the state. Winds are sustained at 185 MPH and are gusting to 225 MPH. Right now, the storm appears to be ready to make landfall over south Florida, but if it turns more sharply it will cross the Bahamas and make landfall in Georgia. Because of abnormally high ocean temperatures, storms could continue forming into late fall.
Katia is strengthening in the Gulf of Mexico off the Yucatan Peninsula, in approximately the same area that Harvey formed three weeks ago.
Commentator Rush Limbaugh has said that local media outlets are overstating the danger of Hurricane Irma in order to increase sales of their advertisers. Mr. Limbaugh was one of the originators the global warming denial movement.