FLORIDA KEYS (AP) Hurricane Irma is done with Cuba and is slowly chugging to the Florida Keys and the state’s west coast.
The National Hurricane Center extended storm surge and hurricane warnings on both sides of Florida’s coasts.
The center warns the threat of catastrophic storm surge flooding is highest along the southwest coast of Florida, where 10 to 15 feet of inundation above ground level is expected.
Southwest Florida is sometimes called “surge central” by storm experts.
Irma continues to have 125 mph (200 kph) winds, but forecasters say it should regain some of its lost strength and eventually hit Florida probably as a Category 4 hurricane.
Strong hurricane-force winds will reach the Florida Keys by Sunday morning. Already Fort Lauderdale’s airport reported sustained winds of 47 mph (76 kilometers per hour).