Irma – live updates: Hurricane moves up Florida coast towards Tampa amid warnings of life-threatening storm surges


Category 4 Hurricane Irma is bringing intense winds and rain into Tampa Bay. Hurricane Warnings and Tornado Warnings have been issued through our entire viewing area.

Hurricane Irma has begun its assault on Florida, with the storm’s northern eyewall reaching the lower Florida Keys as a powerful Category 4 storm.

Irma lashed the area with maximum sustained winds near 130 mph (215 kph) and the US National Hurricane Centre said it was expected to remain a powerful storm as it moved through the Florida Keys and near the state’s west coast.

Irma, which killed at least 22 people in the Caribbean, was considered a life-threatening danger in Florida as well, and could inflict a natural disaster causing billions of dollars in damage to the third-most-populous US state.


Live Updates

More than three million people are said to be without power now – about an eighth of the state’s population.

As the hurricane moves up the western coast of Florida – Tampa Bay and St Petersburg will likely be hit at around 11pm ET (4am GMT) and expect winds and surges for a number of hours.

The names Harvey and Irma will be retired so that no other hurricanes can be named that way. It is the first time two consecutive hurricanes have had their names retired since Rita and Stan in 2005.