Passengers wait to check in at the departures terminal of the Pole Caraibes international airport in Pointe-a-Pitre, which re-opened on September 6, 2017, after hurricane Irma hit the island. Hurricane Irma, one of the most powerful Atlantic storms on record, cut a deadly swath through a string of small Caribbean islands on Wednesday and was on a collision course with Puerto Rico and potentially south Florida. / AFP PHOTO / Helene Valenzuela (Photo credit should read HELENE VALENZUELA/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP Contributor AFP/Getty Images
By Lucinda Shen
September 9, 2017

As of 3 p.m. E.T. Saturday, Hurricane Irma has been downgraded to a Category 3 Hurricane and is lingering near the north coast of Cuba.

The hurricane is about 140 miles southeast of Key West, Florida, with maximum sustained winds of 125 miles per hour, according to forecasters.

It’s expected to make landfall in the Florida Keys Sunday morning, and continue along the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon. Before hitting Florida, the hurricane is expected to strengthen.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration warned that the storm could result in rainfall of up to 25 inches in some areas of the Florida Keys through Wednesday. Eastern Georgia, western North Carolina, and western South America are expected to see up to 8 inches of rain, while western Georgia, east and northern Alabama, and southern Tennessee may see up to 5 inches of rain.

Adding to that, the administration also warned that pressure changes and winds from the storm could result in rising waters, dumping as much as 10 feet of water in the Florida Keys area, and up to 8 feet in the Tampa Bay area. Isle of Palms, South Carolina, to Fernandina Beach may also see up to 6 feet of water.

Tornadoes may also form Saturday and Sunday over the southern part of Florida, forecasters said.

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