Residents in the Caribbean and the southern U.S. are hammering, drilling, and stocking up on essentials as they brace for a monster storm, Hurricane Irma, to barrel their way.
Hammering, drilling, and stocking up in Puerto Rico as residents here brace for Hurricane Irma to barrel their way. The National Hurricane Center designating it a category 5 hurricane, and saying Irma was the most powerful Atlantic storm ever recorded outside the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico. (SOUNDBITE)(Spanish) SERGIO RODRIGUEZ SAYING: "I don't think Puerto Rico has ever lived through something like this." The storm packed winds of 185 miles per hour on Tuesday afternoon as it headed toward the Caribbean and southern United States. Irma's eye was forecast to cross the northern Leeward Islands, east of Puerto Rico, on Tuesday night or early Wednesday. A state of emergency has been declared in Puerto Rico and Florida. And some evacuations have even been ordered in advance. (SOUNDBITE, English) MIAMA MAYOR TOMAS PEDROS REGALADO, saying: "Unlike other hurricanes where we//take a wait and see and see what the hurricane is going to do this hurricane is far too powerful poses far too great a threat for us to delay actions any longer." (SOUNDBITE, English) FLORIDA GOVERNOR RICK SCOTT, saying: "This morning I requested President Trump declare a pre-land fall emergency for the entire state of Florida. I just heard from the White House and I have been told that President Trump has approved this declaration." In Florida residents are also lining up at stores to secure drinking water and other vital essentials. And Miami Beach has sand bags for residents bracing for the rain. The NFL is also gearing up for the storm, saying the Miami Dolphins will not play its season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at home on Sunday due to the potential impact of Hurricane Irma. Irma is expected to reach southern Florida on Saturday.