FLORIDA: Gov. Rick Scott Urges Evacuations, Says Irma Is “Bigger, Faster, And Stronger Than Andrew” [VIDEO]

The Miami Herald reports:

One of the most powerful hurricanes on record continued steaming toward South Florida early Wednesday, with its course after three days still shifting. In their early morning discussion, National Hurricane Center forecasters said the latest model runs have moved Irma’s path slightly to the east, taking the fierce Cat 5 storm over Florida’s east coast or the northern Bahamas in the coming days. But they say models are still struggling to factor in a trough moving over the U.S. expected to help steer Irma.

At 8 a.m., Irma remained a ferocious Cat 5 storm, with its eye passing over St. Martin and northern eyewall beginning to pound Anguilla. Sustained winds still reached 185 mph, with higher gusts, as it headed west, northwest at 16 mph. Irma’s pending threat triggered mandatory evacuations in the Florida Keys, beginning today, with evacuation orders coming later today for the beaches and coastal areas in Miami-Dade County. Long lines snaked out of gas stations across South Florida, while supplies including plywood and water, flew off the shelves.