Irma climbs Florida's coast; 'dangerous' storm surges feared

As Irma continued its unprecedented assault on the state, two of the four victims claimed in Florida were identified. Pasco County is located on the west coast of Florida near Tampa.

"It has become something a little out of my control", said the 22-year-old.

Hurricane Irma passed through the Florida Keys this morning with ferocious wind and storm surge.

That would have put the hurricane over the east coast of Florida.

Klotzbach looked at hurricane center storm surge maps splashed with bright yellows and reds and said Naples made him especially nervous.

The first load will head to Florida Keys Marathon Airport.

It was smacking Naples after coming ashore at Marco Island at 3.35pm (local time).

The wide reach of Irma's deadly winds and its size, more than its numerical ranking, has rattled veteran hurricane watchers.

But Gov. Rick Scott said Irma's wrath is unprecedented.

Just hours before the northern eyewall of the hurricane hit the Lower Florida Keys, it was upgraded to a category 4 storm and by 7am it was just 15 miles from Key West.

"The new course threatened everything from Tampa Bay's bustling twin cities of Tampa and St. Petersburg to Naples' mansion- and yacht-lined canals, Sun City Center's sprawling compound of modest retirement homes, and Sanibel Island's shell-filled beaches", the AP reported.

"Over 99 percent of the people out there have common sense and are listening, but we in law enforcement deal with the 1 percent, so we are trying to get the message to them", the sheriff told USA Today.

"Well guys, it's here".

But Key West business owner Jason Jonas said he stayed behind because he's in a home that is "built like a bunker".

The man appeared to be uninjured and was able to pick himself off the ground after the incident. Elsewhere, winds toppled trees and utility polls or ripped apart roofs.

Those who did not evacuate ahead of the storm are in danger, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Brock Long said Saturday. They posted a model which explained the dangers of attempting to shoot at the storm.

What should you do to prepare for a storm?

"Although weakening is forecast, Irma is expected to remain a hurricane at least through Monday morning", the NHC said.

The President's main concerns are the people in the affected areas and ensuring a "whole-of-government response", said acting Homeland Security Secretary Elaine Duke, who participated in the briefing.

"We're going to get through the winds, we'll get through the rain, depending on what the level of surge is", he said.

There is a hurricane warning for almost the entire state of Florida.

It follows a Facebook resident set up by residents in the state called 'Shoot At Hurricane Irma'.

"This is going to sneak up on people", Rhome said. "She's tracking us, that feisty minx", Cardona said by phone.

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