SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (CBSMiami) – From Antigua to Puerto Rico, preparations are underway for the strongest storm the region has seen in decades.
The residents of Puerto Rico are taking no chances with Hurricane Irma.
They’re boarding up their homes and getting ready to hunker down as they face the possibility of experiencing hurricane conditions as early as Wednesday.
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosello has declared a state of emergency and activated the National Guard.
On Tuesday, crews were busy cleaning up debris in Culebra, a small island off the northeast coast of Puerto Rico.
Irma is the strongest storm to threaten the Caribbean in decades prompting warnings for Antigua, Barbuda, St Barts and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
The larger islands of Hispaniola and Cuba are also in the storm’s path.
Cuba’s state-run newspaper Granma sent out a tweet saying civil defenses forces are on high alert.
Meanwhile, in Texas, where Hurricane Harvey damaged more than 200,000 homes and caused $180 billion in damage, state leaders are watching Irma closely, hoping bad luck does not strike twice.
“I’ve spoken with the Florida governor about it to collaborate with him with regard to the resources that currently exist in the state of Texas that he may need access to depending upon what may happen,” said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.
After days of conducting search and rescue efforts in Cuba, the Coast Guard has been moving helicopters and other equipment to Florida and Puerto Rico in anticipation of Hurricane Irma.
As you might expect, the storm is affecting travel in and out of the Caribbean. Major airlines are shuttling flights out of the region ahead of the storm. Many of those flights arrived in Miami and Fort Lauderdale, but will move out of here as the storm gets closer to us.
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