Florida governor warns Irma 'most catastrophic' storm to hit state
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Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) issued a dire warning on Saturday that Hurricane Irma will be the "most catastrophic" storm to ever strike the state, while continuing to press residents and visitors to seek shelter away from the Florida coast.

"If you're in an evacuation zone, you've got to go," Scott said at a news conference. "You've got to get out now, get to a safe place. This is a catastrophic storm our state has never seen."

"Remember, we can rebuild your house, you can get your possessions again, but we can't rebuild your life and we can't rebuild your family."

“This is the most catastrophic storm the state has ever seen.”


It was Scott's latest plea to the state's residents and visitors to evacuate coastal communities in south and central Florida before the Category 3 storm makes landfall in Florida later on Saturday.

At an earlier news conference on Saturday, Scott warned that the hurricane could bring "life threatening" storm surges of six to 12 feet that would "cover" residents' homes. 

"Evacuate now. Not tonight, not in an hour, you need to go right now," he said. "If you’re in an evacuation zone, leave."

Also on Saturday, Florida emergency management officials asked an additional 700,000 people to evacuate ahead of the storm.

In all, officials have issued both mandatory and voluntary evacuation orders that affect some 6.3 million people, making it the largest evacuation effort in the state's history.

The hurricane is expected to make landfall early Sunday, according to the National Hurricane Center.