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Hurricane Irma will devastate the US – FEMA

Hurricane Irma will devastate the US – FEMA
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) chief Brock Long told a press conference Friday that Hurricane Irma is “going to devastate the United States.”

Brock told reporters that power will be out for days “if not longer” in Florida. “I don’t know anybody in Florida that’s experienced” what is headed for Florida’s way, he said.

Describing it as a “complex forecast,” Brock said that “anybody from Alabama to North Carolina should be watching this storm very closely.” He also warned that more than 100,000 people may need shelter.

Earlier Friday, Hurricane Irma was downgraded to a category four hurricane, but remains “extremely dangerous,” according to the National Hurricane Center.

“The forecast and direct impacts of this storm have yet to be determined because it’s a very powerful storm, but the nature of the curve and that forecast after 72 hours is going to be the key to see who gets the worst impacts here.”

“It’s not a question of if Florida is going to be impacted, it's a question of how bad Florida is going to be impacted and where the storm ends up over the next four to five days as it passes inland,” Brock said. 

Irma’s arrival in Florida is said to pose a massive threat to power supplies due to the strength of its winds which could down power lines. Florida Power & Light plans to close two of its nuclear power plants as a precaution.

READ MORE: Florida shutting down its 2 nuclear plants ahead of Hurricane Irma

Irma made landfall in the Caribbean on Wednesday, battering Barbuda and Saint Martin before making its way to the Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos Islands, the Virgin Islands and the Bahamas before heading towards Cuba and Florida on Friday.

Irma’s death toll stands at at least 18 so far and is the strongest storm recorded in the Atlantic basin.