Hurricane Irma upgraded to Category Five storm - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Hurricane Irma upgraded to Category Five storm

Posted: Updated:

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO - The Latest on Hurricane Irma (all times local):
    
8:35 a.m.
    
American Airlines has added extra flights out of two Caribbean islands to get people out of the path of Hurricane Irma, a powerful Category 5 storm.
    
The flights were added in St. Maarten and St. Kitts and Nevis. Those are in addition to regularly scheduled flights Tuesday and Wednesday to Miami.
    
Both islands are part of the northern Leeward Islands and are under a hurricane warning as Irma approaches the region Tuesday.
    
American says it expects to make additional flight changes as it monitors the storm.
    
___
    
8 a.m.
    
Hurricane Irma has strengthened into a Category 5 storm as it roared toward the northeast Caribbean on a path toward the U.S.
    
Irma's maximum sustained winds increased to 175mph (280 kph) early Tuesday. It was centered about 270 miles (440 kilometers) east of Antigua and moving west at 14 mph (22 kph).
    
Authorities warned that the storm could dump up to 10 inches (25 centimeters) of rain, cause landslides and flash floods and generate waves of up to 23 feet (7 meters). Government officials began evacuations in certain islands.
    
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello warned that all decisions taken in the next couple of hours would make a difference between life and death.
    
States of emergency were declared in Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and all of Florida.
 

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