Hurricane Irma most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record

Hurricane Irma. (Photo: MGN)

(KUTV) On Wednesday, September 6, Hurricane Irma has become the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record, with winds reaching as high as 186 miles per hour.

Florida's governor Rick Scott formally declared a state of emergency on Tuesday.

Mandatory evacuations were set in place, asking tourists to leave Wednesday morning, and residents later that evening.

The American Red Cross is urging everyone in its path to prepare.

"People in the path of this storm should listen to local radio, NOAA radio or TV stations for the latest information and updates and obey any evacuation orders from local officials," The American Red Cross stated in a news release.

As of Wednesday, September 6, Hurricane Irma is making its way through the Caribbean islands.

Irma is expected to make landfall in Florida either late Sunday or early Monday, but strong winds could hit the state as early as Friday evening.

The Red Cross suggests the following three steps to prepare.

  1. Build a disaster kit
  2. Come up with an emergency plan
  3. Be informed about how local authorities will notify, whether through local media or NOAA Weather Radio stations or channels

The Red Cross Emergency app, which provides real-time information about the storm, shelter locations, and hurricane safety tips, can be downloaded for free. It is available in app stores by searching for American Red Cross or going to

Hurricane Irma will affect numerous Caribbean nations, including St. Kitts and Nevis, Antigua and Barbuda, The Dominican Republic, Haiti, the Turks and Caicos, the Bahamas and Cuba.