11 PM UPDATE: Manatee, Sarasota counties under hurricane watch, South Florida under hurricane warning

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Hurricane Irma is not losing any steam. The monster hurricane is still maintaining 165 mph winds as it moves closer to the Bahamas after killing at least 10 people in the Caribbean.

“The 11 p.m. advisory for Irma keeps it as a major hurricane before landfall and a Category 3 storm near Lake Okeechobee on Sunday evening,” said Storm Team 8 Chief Meteorologist Steve Jerve.

The storm is now about 585 miles from Miami, moving at 16 mph.

A Hurricane Watch has been issued for Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, Highlands and DeSoto counties.

A storm surge warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as the Florida Keys. A warning has also been issued from Jupiter Inlet to Sebastian Inlet and for the west coast of Florida north of Bonita Beach to Venice.

A Hurricane Warning has been issued from Jupiter Inlet southward around the Florida peninsula to Bonita Beach, as well as the Florida Keys, Lake Okeechobee and Florida Bay.

“It’s remarkable. Usually storms don’t maintain this kind of strength for a long period of time or stay that organized, but there hasn’t been any land interaction. The conditions are right. The sea surface temperatures are warm. The upper level winds are not providing a lot of wind shear. Unfortunately, it’s kind of a perfect storm that way.”

Hurricane and storm surge watches are in effect for portions of South Florida and the Florida Keys.  

The government of the Dominican Republic has discontinued the Hurricane Warning east of Cabo Frances Viejo and the Tropical Storm Warning for the southern coast of the Dominican Republic.




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