Florida declares state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma

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Florida Governor Rick Scott has declared a statewide state of emergency ahead of Hurricane Irma, which has strengthened into a powerful category four storm and could hit the U.S. state on Sunday, though uncertain remains about how close the storm will come.

“Hurricane Irma is a major and life-threatening storm and Florida must be prepared,” Scott said in an emailed statement. “I have continued to be briefed by the Florida Division of Emergency Management on Hurricane Irma and current forecast models have Florida in Irma’s path – potentially impacting millions of Floridians.”

As a result, Scott said, he has declared a state of emergency for all 67 counties to make certain that state, federal and local governments are able to work together and make sure resources are dispersed to local communities.

“In Florida, we always prepare for the worst and hope for the best and while the exact path of Irma is not absolutely known at this time, we cannot afford to not be prepared,” the governor said. “This state of emergency allows our emergency management officials to act swiftly in the best interest of Floridians without the burden of bureaucracy or red tape.”

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