WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Donald Trump has declared emergencies in Florida, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands as Hurricane Irma prepares for landfall.
The declarations authorize the Department of Homeland Security and the Federal Emergency Management Agency to coordinate disaster relief efforts in those places.
The dangerous Category 5 storm is wielding the most powerful winds ever recorded for a storm in the Atlantic Ocean. It is on a path that could take it toward Florida over the weekend.
Irma's size and strength put the entire state on notice Tuesday. Residents and visitors prepared to leave in anticipation of catastrophic winds and floods.
Puerto Rico's governor is also warning that the effects of Hurricane Irma could be catastrophic and calling the storm more dangerous than Hurricane Harvey.