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What you need to know about Hurricane Irma

The National Weather Service called Irma "potentially catastrophic."

by Milena Mikael-Debass and Zeke Spector
Sep 6 2017, 4:19am

Hurricane Irma, the strongest hurricane ever recorded in the Atlantic, slammed into eastern Caribbean islands on Wednesday with winds clocking at 185 mph.

The Category 5 storm — which the National Weather Service called “potentially catastrophic” — is now barreling toward Puerto Rico, where FEMA and the National Guard are standing by, and could reach Florida by Sunday. People have already started to evacuate some parts of the state.

“I am at a complete and utter loss for words looking at Irma’s appearance on satellite imagery,” said Taylor Trogdon, a senior scientist from the National Hurricane Center.

Meanwhile, two other tropical storms, Jose and Katia, have formed in the Atlantic. They’re the 10th and 11th named during a particularly aggressive hurricane season. While some argue climate change has caused more extreme weather events, science can’t confirm that without more studies.