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Life-threatening storm surge expected in Keys, west coast of Florida

The Keys experienced strong winds from the outer bands of Hurricane Irma on Saturday (S/V Andromeda)

As Hurricane Irma continues to approach Florida, the conditions across our area are deteriorating.

A National Ocean Service station in Vaca Key recently reported sustained winds of 48 mph with gusts of up to 66 mph while Marathon had sustained winds of 51 mph with gusts up to 71 mph, the National Hurricane Center (NHC) said.

Heavy squalls with embedded tornadoes are sweeping across South Florida as Irma looms, according to the NHC.

The latest advisory shows Hurricane Irma, a Category 3 storm, is 105 miles southeast of Key West with maximum sustained winds of 120 mph, according to the NHC.

The storm will reach the Keys by Sunday morning and is expected to move along or near the southwest coast of Florida Sunday afternoon.

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The National Weather Service issued a tornado watch from Key Largo to Titusville on the east coast and up to North Port on the west coast until noon Sunday.


Several tornadoes touched down in South Florida, including one in Oakland Park Saturday night, according to the National Weather Service.

Although the track of the storm has had a westward trend, South Florida residents cannot let their guard down, as hurricane-force winds can extend up to 70 miles from the center while tropical storm-force winds extend almost 200 miles away.

So what does that mean for your area?

Check out the effects below by county:

Palm Beach County: Category 1 hurricane winds with Category 2 gusts are possible. The Storm surge along the coast may be between 4 and 8 feet. Bands of rain and thunderstorms are possible as well. A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire county. Flash flood watch was also issued for inland Palm Beach County for areas south of the lake.

Martin County: Category 1 hurricane winds with Category 2 gusts possible. The storm surge along the coast may be between 3 and 6 feet. Bands of rain and thunderstorms are possible as well. Hurricane warning for the entire county

St. Lucie County: Category 1 hurricane winds with Category 2 gusts possible. The storm surge along the coast may be between 3 and 6 feet. Bands of rain and thunderstorms are possible as well. The entire county is under a hurricane warning.

Indian River County: Category 1 hurricane winds with Category 2 gusts possible. The storm surge along the coast may be between 3 and 6 feet. Bands of rain and thunderstorms are possible as well. Hurricane warning for the entire county

Okeechobee County: Category 2 winds with Category 3 gusts possible. The storm surge along the coast may be between 3 and 6 feet. Bands of rain and thunderstorms are possible as well. A hurricane warning is in effect for the entire county.

Tracking the Tropics

Hurricane Jose, a powerful Category 4 storm, is gradually weakening as it moves away from the northern Leeward Islands, the NHC said. As of 11 p.m., the storm has maximum sustained winds of 130 mph and is moving northwest at 14 mph.

Jose is expected to continue getting weaker during the next 48 hours as it makes a northward turn.

Share your Hurricane Irma photos and video. Just text "Irma" to 44332.

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