Texas and Louisiana are still dealing with the aftermath of the record-breaking rain Hurricane Harvey brought last week, but another storm is making its way through the Atlantic. Though it's unclear what impact Hurricane Irma will have on the U.S., it could bring more destruction to the Southeast.
Tuesday morning Irma was upgraded to a Category 5 hurricane, but it had decreased to a Category 4 by Friday. It's still too soon to know if it will hit the continental U.S., but The Weather Channel says Irma poses "a serious threat to Florida and parts of the Southeast beginning this weekend." Local officials in the Sunshine State declared a state of emergency, with areas such as Miami-Dade issuing mandatory evacuations.
Irma swept through the Caribbean earlier this week, devastating Barbuda and causing further damage in Puerto Rico and other islands. If the storm does continue to head north, it could reach Florida early Sunday, according to The Weather Channel. There's no guarantee the storm will make landfall in the state, but it could still bring life-threatening floods to South Florida.
If you live on the East Coast or the Gulf Coast, keep an eye on Irma updates in case the storm does continue making its way north. Follow The Weather Channel or the National Hurricane Center on Twitter and check the news once a day to get the latest info on how the storm is progressing. CNN also created a tool to track the storm (which you can utilize here).
And if you're told to evacuate, do so.
If Irma does become an immediate threat, you'll want to be prepared. Check out tips for how to prepare for a hurricane here to make sure you aren't caught off guard.
Hurricane Harvey quickly became a Category 4 hurricane before touching Texas, so you don't want to wait until the last minute to put a preparedness plan in place.
This story was originally published on September 1, 2017.