Just hours after Hurricane Irma strengthened Friday night to a Category 5 storm as it made landfall on Cuba, the monster storm went back to a Category 4 storm around 5 a.m. Saturday, the National Hurricane Center announced.
Its maximum sustained winds decreased to 150 mph, but the storm remains strong as it moves closer to South Florida at a speed of 13 mph. As of 5 a.m., it was 245 miles southeast of Miami. Just three hours earlier, it was 275 miles south-southeast of the city.
The storm’s track has shifted slightly to the west, creating a “very, very dangerous situation for western Florida,” says ABC News meteorologist Daniel Manzo. Major hurricane conditions will slam communities on Florida’s west coast, including Naples and Fort Myers, he added. Landfall may also occur as far north as Tampa as a strong Category 3 hurricane.
South Florida is already experiencing power outages, according to the Florida Power & Light Company. As of 3 a.m. Saturday, in Miami-Dade County there were 9,613 outages affecting 1,124,252 customers. In Broward County, which includes Fort Lauderdale, there were 456 outages affecting 939,339 customers.
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