Hurricane Irma threatens Antigua with “potentially catastrophic” force

ST. JOHN ANTIGUA (SEPTEMBER 5, 2017) (ANTIGUA OBSERVER) – The U.S. National Hurricane Center said Irma, which it upgraded to a “potentially catastrophic” Category 5 storm, was about 130 miles (210 km) east of Antigua on Tuesday (September 5) afternoon.

Hurricane warnings were issued for Puerto Rico, Antigua, Montserrat, St. Eustatius, the British Virgin Islands and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Video from Antigua showed strong surf and winds barreling along the coast and storefronts and homes shuttered in preparation for the storm.

Hurricane Irma churned across the Atlantic on a collision course with Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, threatening to lash the northern Caribbean with a potentially devastating mix of fierce winds, surf and rain.

The eye of Irma was packing winds of 185 miles (295 km) per hour, is expected to cross the northern Leeward Islands. The storm was upgraded to a Category 5, the highest NHC designation, earlier in the day on Tuesday. While some fluctuations in intensity are likely, Irma is expected to remain a Category 4 or 5 for the next couple of days, the Hurricane Center said.