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Hurricane Irma hits Cuba as a category 5

12 September 2017

"We are very concerned, we are working very hard" Trump said of the storm, which has transformed a string of tropical island paradises into scenes of ruin.

McMaster said the state is prepared to open 200 shelters if needed. "The State of emergency is still in effect and will remain so until the storm has passed", Cooper said, acknowledging that the storm can affect any part of the state.

While Irma's maximum sustained winds have dipped modestly, the storm is growing.

Georgia Power spokeswoman Holly Crawford said Monday the areas with the most power outages were coastal Glynn and Chatham counties.

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"We're not going to go out and drag someone out of their home if they don't want to leave", Deal said. The weather will be dry Sunday for those traveling back to Alabama; any impact from Hurricane Irma in SC will come Monday into Tuesday.

The storm fatality occurred in southwest Georgia, where Irma's center crossed over from Florida on Monday afternoon.

Georgia's coast was largely empty after evacuations were ordered for the second time in less than year. Or the storm could veer further west and cross the Florida Panhandle into Alabama.

North Carolina Emergency Management Director Mike Sprayberry said just after noon on Thursday that members of the North Carolina National Guard are being activated to help prep for Irma.

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He noted SC is still recovering from Hurricane Matthew past year and massive flooding in 2015. "But the longer you wait you could be stuck here and it could change again for the worse".

An eastward shift in Irma's track could bring up to 12 feet of storm surge to portions of coastal Georgia, where the resulting wall of water could become even larger if the storm arrived at high tide, the National Weather Service said.

While tracking models indicate that the giant storm is projected to likely veer to the west of North Carolina, avoiding a direct hit on the state, the outer bands of the Texas-sized storm will still pummel much of the state with heavy rains and gusting winds. It's also about 100 miles (160 kilometers) from the coast.

"The hurricane winds lashed the shutters violently, throughout the night", he wrote in a text message, "making sleep impossible". "We have a significant amount of mobile homes in our community and all of our RV parks are full".

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