[dropcap]H[/dropcap]urricane Irma – Florida, Georgia and South Carolina are bracing for the impact of Hurricane Irma — the most powerful Atlantic storm in a decade — which is expected to hit Florida Sunday morning after already devastating several islands in the Caribbean.
Here is a breakdown of the monster storm by the numbers:
As Irma tore through the Caribbean islands, it left a terrifying trail of devastation behind it.
At least 20 people have died in the Caribbean, including at least three in the U.S. territory of Puerto Rico.
About 6,000 Americans were believed to be stranded on St. Martin in the wake of Irma, according to the U.S. Consulate General in Curacao, The Associated Press reported.
In Barbuda, over 90 percent of buildings and vehicles were destroyed.
Browne told ABC News in a phone interview, “When you have an unprecedented storm like this that comes with such significant wind force this is like having a bomb literally thrown on a city. … It is really the sheer magnitude of the winds that destroyed these properties.”
More than six million people have been ordered or advised to evacuate in Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
The storm is forecast to first hit the Florida Keys early Sunday morning.
“If you’re in an evacuation zone, you’ve got to get out. You can’t wait,” Florida Gov. Rick Scott said in an interview Friday with ABC News’ “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts.
“This thing’s coming,” he warned. “It looks like it’s going to go right through the middle of our state.”
According to FEMA there are facilities to shelter 1 million people in Florida.
FEMA administrator Brock Long said at a news conference Friday morning that Irma is “a threat that is going to devastate the United States” and he urged people to listen to local officials and heed their warnings.
But not everyone is evacuating. Miami resident Rafael Cabanzon, 20, told ABC News, “We are going to stay for sure.”
We’ve experienced so many hurricanes, I think we can wait it out,” Cabanzon said.
“We have a garage, so we are to buck the bottom of the garage and a couple of doors to make sure sand doesn’t come in,” he said. “We’re not too worried about it. We are taking precautions, but we got it.”
Florida’s governor said 25,000 power outages were reported as of Saturday morning.
A least 4,600 flights have been canceled at airports in the storm’s path.
Ahead of Irma’s arrival in the Sunshine State, the last flights departed Friday night from Miami International Airport and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. Miami’s airport officially remains open, while Fort Lauderdale’s airport is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
At least 13 cruises, including Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Disney and Norwegian, have been canceled.
At least 22 cruises are operating on altered itineraries: Carnival Cruises has altered the itinerary for 13 cruises in order to “maintain a safe distance” from Hurricane Irma, a spokesperson said, and Royal Caribbean has diverted three ships to keep them “out of harm’s way.”
Royal Caribbean Cruises is also offering up one of its ships, Enchantment of the Seas, to employees and their families so they can evacuate Florida. It will “sail out to blue skies and calm seas” and plans to return once the port reopens.
ABC News’ Jeffrey Cook contributed to this report.
By abcnews.com – Original post: http://abcn.ws/2vPKnUw