Hurricane Irma’s track trending eastward, but winds still at 185 mph

FORT MYERS, Fla. Here is everything you need to know on Hurricane Irma as the storm develops:

11:00 p.m.

Hurricane Irma maintained intense winds of 185 mph winds as of the 11 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was about 85 miles north-northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

This is the latest cone from the National Hurricane Center:

9:51 p.m.

Clewiston is among the areas most at risk for impact from Hurricane Irma according to the latest forecast track.

“We don’t know how this is going to be.” Clewiston City Manager Al Perry said. “It appears to be a bad storm. We just pray it goes around us.”

Some living near Lake Okeechobee are concerned whether the Herbert Hoover Dike, which surrounds the lake, will hold up as the hurricane passes.

But lake water levels are lower than they were before Hurricane Wilma in 2005, Perry said.

Perry is confident new construction projects underway will serve to strengthen the dike and help it withstand a hit from Irma.

WINK News reporter Morgan Frances has more:

 

8:54 p.m.

Hendry County emergency officials have activated a hurricane information hotline.

Residents are asked to dial 211 or 1-800-887-9234 for any questions they may have regarding the storm.

Irma is posing a greater threat to inland areas than coastal parts of Southwest Florida thanks to its forecast track up the Atlantic side the state, WINK meteorologist Janine Albert said.

8:00 p.m. 

Hurricane Irma maintained intense winds of 185 mph winds as of the 8 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was about 50 miles north of San Juan, Puerto Rico moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

This is the latest cone from the National Hurricane Center:

 

7:41 p.m.

WINK Weather Authority meteorologist Janine Albert answered questions about Hurricane Irma on the WINK News Facebook page.

7:25 p.m.

This is only the second time on Earth since satellites started tracking storms about 40 years ago that one maintained 185 mph winds for more than 24 hours, Colorado State’s Klotzbach told the Associated Press.

“This thing is a buzz saw,” Klotzbach said. “I don’t see any way out of it.”

6:39 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared for Marco Island.

The island joins Collier County, the state of Florida and the federal government in declaring emergencies ahead of the hurricane. The moves allow greater access to disaster-relief funding.

WINK News reporter Nicole Papageorge was in Collier County where residents scrambled to get supplies ahead of Irma:

6 p.m.

Some businesses in downtown Fort Myers are boarding up.

Izzy’s Fish and Oyster restaurant had plywood up on its windows Wednesday afternoon, and nearby establishments were following suit.

5:30 p.m.

Cape Coral Mayor Marni Sawicki is recommending city residents to leave in advance of any evacuation orders from Lee County, especially for those closest to the coast.

“Hurricane Irma should be taken seriously,” Sawicki said.

Sawicki made her comments in a video posted to Vimeo.com:

WINK News reporter Brooke Shaffer spoke to a Cape Coral family leaving town ahead of Irma:

 

5:15 p.m.

WINK News reporter Kristi Gross spoke to Punta Gorda residents who survived Category Hurricane Charley in 2004:

 

5:00 p.m.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma remains with intense winds of 185 mph winds as of the 5 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The storm was about 20 miles east-northeast of St. Thomas moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

 

3:45 p.m.

WINK News chief meteorologist Jim Farrell provides a Hurricane Irma update via Facebook Live:

3:15 p.m.

Gov. Rick Scott is providing an update on Hurricane Irma preparedness from Naples:

The governor urged everyone in the state to be prepared for impacts. State agencies are working to move as much gas into Florida as possible as evacuees create a run on the supply, Scott said.

“If you’re told to evacuate, don’t wait. Do it quickly,” Scott said. “We can rebuild your home, but we cannot rebuild your life.”

Scott has set a goal of 17,000 volunteers to help groups like the Red Cross and FEMA. To register as a volunteer, click here or call 1-800-FL-HELP-1.

“Volunteers make a huge difference in these emergencies and help with shelters, food distribution and response efforts. Your efforts could make the difference a family needs to get through this storm,” Scott said.

2 p.m.

Category 5 Hurricane Irma was holding steady with 185 mph winds as of the 2 p.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center.

The forecast path was similar to the 11 a.m. advisory.

The storm was about 20 miles east-northeast of St. Thomas moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

Two hurricane warnings were discontinued for islands in the Caribbean — one for Sint Maarten and one for Anguilla.

This is the latest cone from the National Hurricane Center:

1:26 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared in Collier County.

1:18 p.m.

Irma may delay the Sept. 12 primary election in Lee County.

The Lee County Supervisor of Elections is requesting Gov. Rick Scott postpone the election date. Early voting will be suspended as of 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Mayor’s races in Fort Myers and Cape Coral are among the items on this year’s ballot.

12:59 p.m.

A state of emergency has been declared in Sanibel.

City Council voted on the declaration Wednesday to provide easier access to hurricane relief funding. States of emergency have already been declared on the county, state and federal level.

Passes that will allow residents to get back on the island after an evacuation must be picked up by 5 p.m. Wednesday at the police station on 800 Dunlop Road.

No mandatory evacuation order is in place yet.

12:25 p.m.

The following Lee County government offices will be closed Thursday and Friday:

  • Lee County Board of County Commissioner departments (except essential employees)
  • Lee County Clerk of Courts
  • 20th Circuit Court
  • Lee County Tax Collector
  • Lee County Supervisor of Elections​
  • Lee County Property Appraiser

12 p.m.

Collier County emergency officials are holding a news conference to discuss Irma preparations:

10:53 a.m.

Hurricane Irma maintained 185 mph winds as of the 11 a.m. advisory from the National Hurricane Center said.

It was about 65 miles east-southeast of St. Thomas, moving west-northwest at 16 mph.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued for the north coast of Haiti from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas. A Tropical Storm Warning has been issued for for the coast of Haiti from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince.

The government of France has discontinued all warnings for Guadeloupe.

The government of Antigua has discontinued all warnings for Antigua, Barbuda, St. Kitts, Nevis, and Montserrat.

10:31 a.m.

Lee County Emergency officials provide updates on Hurricane Irma:

Gov. Scott activated 900 more Florida National Guard troops Wednesday morning in preparation for Hurricane Irma, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

“Hurricane Irma is an extremely dangerous and life-threatening Category 5 storm and the state is aggressively preparing to ensure families are safe as we prepare for a possible landfall,” Scott said in a statement. “The brave men and women of the Florida National Guard are incredibly important to executing emergency preparedness and response actions across the state and I will continue to activate more members as needed.”

Scott activated 100 troops Tuesday morning, which brings a total of 1,000 state National Guard troops aiding in helping with shelters and evacuations ahead of Hurricane Irma, Scott said.

9:42 a.m.

Scott provided updates on Hurricane Irma at a stop in Marathon:

9:09 a.m.

Fort Myers Beach declares a local state of emergency was declared Wednesday morning.

WINK News reporter Taylor Bisacky has more:

 

7:58 a.m.

The 8 a.m. advisory maintains Hurricane Irma’s winds at 185 as the eye passes over St. Martin, the National Hurricane Center said.

The forecast cone for Hurricane Irma’s 8 a.m. advisory.

The Category 5 storm is moving north-northwest at 16 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The system is about 15 miles west of St. Martin and about 25 miles west of Anguilla, as the “northern eyewall (is) pounding Anguilla.”

 

WINK meteorologist Matt Devitt relayed the forecast track for Hurricane Irma:

 

7:07 a.m.

Some Southwest Florida stores are experiencing long lines ahead of Hurricane Irma.

6:22 a.m.

WINK News reporter Jessica Alpern was live in Cape Coral as some gas stations are experiencing gas shortages.

Gas in Cape Coral

Stations with gas:

  • The Wawa on Pine Island Road and Del Prado Boulevard has gas
  • The Speedway near Del Prado Boulevard and Viscaya Parkway has gas

Stations without gas:

  • The 7-Eleven near Chiquita Boulevard and Tropicana Parkway has a shipment expected at 10 a.m.
  • The 7-Eleven near Chiquita Boulevard and Gleason Parkway, and two trucks are expected between Wednesday morning and Friday
  • The Speedway near Cape Coral Parkway and Coronado Parkway is out of gas, and it’s unclear when a new shipment will be coming

WINK News reporter John Trierweiler was live in Fort Myers as some people living in Southwest Florida begin leaving ahead of Hurricane Irma:

4:55 a.m.

The 5 a.m. advisory keeps Hurricane Irma at a Category 5 as the “potentially catastrophic” storm moves towards St. Martin, the National Hurricane Center said.

The forecast cone for Hurricane Irma’s 5 a.m. advisory.

Hurricane Irma is moving north-northwest at 16 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The system is about 35 miles east-southeast of St. Martin and about 145 miles east of St. Croix, as well as having maximum sustained winds at 185 mph.

The government of the Bahamas issued a Hurricane Warning for the Southeastern Bahamas and Turks and Caicos Islands, the National Hurricane Center said. A Hurricane Watch was also issued for the Central Bahamas.

The Tropical Storm Warning for Dominica has been discontinued, according to the National Hurricane Center.

Meteorologist Matt Devitt discussed the latest forecast track for Hurricane Irma:

1:49 a.m.

The 2 a.m. advisory has Hurricane Irma as a “potentially catastrophic Category 5” early Thursday morning as the eye passes over Barbuda, the National Hurricane Center said.

Hurricane Irma is moving west-northwest at 15 mph, according to the National Hurricane Center. The system is about 5 miles north of Barbuda and about 40 miles north of Antigua, and has maximum sustained winds of 185 mph.

A Hurricane Warning is in effect for Antigua, Barbuda, Anguilla, Montserrat, St. Kitts, Nevis, Saba, St. Eustatius, and Sint Maarten, Saint Martin, Saint Barthelemy, the British Virgin Islands, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Vieques, Culebra, Guadeloupe, and the Dominican Republic from Cabo Engano to the northern border of Haiti, the National Hurricane Center said.

The forecast cone for Hurricane Irma’s 2 a.m. advisory.

A Hurricane Watch is in effect for Haiti — from the northern border with the Dominican Republic to Le Mole St. Nicholas, the Turks and Caicos Islands, Southeastern Bahamas, and Cuba from Matanzas province eastward to Guantanamo province, according to the National Hurricane Center.

A Tropical Storm Warning is in effect for Dominica and the Dominican Republic, from south of Cabo Engano westward to the southern border of Haiti, the National Hurricane Center said.

A Tropical Storm Warning is also in effect for Haiti, from south of Le Mole St. Nicholas to Port-Au-Prince, according to the National Hurricane Center.