The massive eye stared down on the tiny island of Barbuda early Wednesday, thrashing it with howling winds before marching along its path on the Caribbean.
Irma’s eye was bigger than Barbuda, CNN meteorologist Jenn Varian said. It packed winds of 185 mph, making it one of the most powerful Atlantic storms ever recorded.
The Category 5 hurricane is “potentially catastrophic,” especially if it hits islands at high tides, the National Hurricane Center said.
It’s too early to tell whether it will make landfall on the US mainland, but forecasts show it could churn toward Florida over the weekend.
Jimmy Brumbaugh packed up his family in their RV and left Astatula, Florida, for Georgia. As he headed out of town, he posted a picture showing a long line of cars, waiting to get gas.
“People are genuinely scared down here,” he said. “… We are dead center in the state but I’m not taking any chances, I also don’t want to put my family through the misery of riding out the storm. We’ve done it before and it’s horrible.”
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