Florida is bracing for impact as Hurricane Irma powers towards its coastline. The latest tracking shows Irma as a Category 3 hurricane as it brushes past Cuba, but officials expect it to pick up strength as it approaches Florida.
The Florida Keys and the state's west coast — all the way up to Tampa Bay — are expected to be hardest hit by this hurricane. Meanwhile, the rest of state will also feel its impact.
Government officials have declared mandatory evacuations for the Florida Keys, as well as many other low lying coastal areas in South Florida. Those residents who insist on remaining put are urged to seek emergency shelter.
Residents and government officials across the state continue to prepare for the worst, and Gov. Rick Scott on Saturday declared that the potential storm surge may be deadly.
-With photos from Getty Images and Reuters