Irma makes landfall over Key West, continues north - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Irma makes landfall over Key West, continues north

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Hurricane Irma's large eye is beginning to move slowly away from the Florida Keys as it continues north with 130 mph (215 kph) winds.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami reported that the center of core of Irma is about 25 miles (40 km) northeast of Key West.

Irma is so wide that a gust of 93 mph (150 kph) was measured near Key Largo at the other end of the Florida Keys.

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Hurricane Irma has made landfall in the Florida Keys.

The U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami said the center of the massive hurricane made landfall on Cudjoe Key in the lower Florida Keys at 9:10 a.m.

Its top sustained winds are 130 mph (215 kph).

Forecasters say a gust of 106 mph (171 kph) was reported on Big Pine Key.

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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).
 

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